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Construction lead indicator – job adverts

Published: 30/08/2020

Job adverts placed on RICS Recruit for surveyors may act as  a leading indicator of construction confidence/activity.

The data shows a gradual increase in job adverts placed from 2012 through to early 2016, however the uncertainty brought about by the Brexit vote/result is likely to have led to demand levelling off through to late 2017. However, job adverts placed recover strongly from October 2017 with demand maintained through to early 2020 prior to the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic being felt. The decline in job adverts placed starts in March 2020 and rapidly reaches its lowest point in June 2020, although by July 2020 there is evidence of an increase in job adverts placed, indicating that we might have reached the trough of the current decline.

RICS Recruit Number of jobs: 2012-2020 (Source: RICS)

Given the unique set of circumstances (both Covid-19 and Brexit related), that are currently impacting the wider economy and disproportionately effecting construction, BCIS are keen to provide as much data driven analysis for our members/subscribers as possible. We have therefore put together a new data series based on the number of job adverts placed on RICS Recruit, most of these job adverts will be for surveyors and could reasonably be said to represent a leading indicator of confidence in the wider construction sector. Our analysis starts from the beginning of 2012 to date, this is as far back as we can go due to a change in data reporting methodology.

“Generally, the recruit data picked-up the slowdown pre and post Brexit vote and the most recent impacts caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, suggesting that the measure is responsive to underlying demand conditions”, says David Crosthwaite, Head of BCIS Data Services.

BCIS are will continue to monitor this data and report on it to subscribers in BCIS online news.

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