West Country job vacancies plummet in face of coronavirus pandemic while unemployment rises

Bar workers at The Blue Lagoon in Bristol. Credit: ITV West Country

There is a growing number of job seekers in the West Country after a record slump in vacancies during lockdown.

UK job vacancies dived in the three months to March as the labour market contracted in the face of the coronavirus, official statisticians have revealed.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the number of job vacancies plunged by 52,000 to 795,000 for the quarter.

In the first part of 2020 vacancies in the hospitality sector fell by 91%.

The Blue Lagoon bar in Bristol would normally be bustling at this time of year, however it is in a sector struggling for business, but not for job applications.

In a recent advert for bar staff more than 200 people applied.

The manager says she can't go through every application.

The Watering Hole on Perranporth Beach had 400 application for 40 seasonal jobs. Credit: ITV West Country

The director of The Watering Hole on Perranporth beach in Cornwall had 400 applications for just 40 seasonal jobs.

He would normally get around 40 applications for this kind of position.

Acorn recruitment agency is preparing to receive 50-60 thousand applicants each month. Credit: ITV West Country

Acorn recruitment agency in Exeter is preparing for a surge in enquiries in these times when it's tougher to get work.

Unemployment is expected to rise this autumn.