Jobs across the professional sector, including IT and engineering, have seen a rise after being hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to the Recruitment Trends Snapshot report published today by The Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo), the number of job opportunities has risen for the second month running.

Permanent jobs in the sector, which also includes professional services, life sciences, marketing, finance and HR, grew by 18% in July, while contract roles grew by 14%.

Although year-on-year vacancies are still down by 36% for permanent roles and 31% for contract roles, the gap has shrunk by 10% from June.

Hiring activity also appears to be increasing, with APSCo reporting an average increase in interviews of 6% in the last week of July compared to the first.

Rise in professional jobs welcomed amid Covid uncertainty

While growing numbers have been made redundant as furlough schemes come to an end, the rise in available positions is a welcome sign amid ongoing uncertainty about how the coronavirus will continue to impact the economy.

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By GlobalData

“As more of the UK aims to get back to work, it’s encouraging to see recruitment activity continuing to grow month on month,” said Ann Swain, CEO of APSCo.

“While the yearly decreases certainly paint a clear picture as to the significant impact the pandemic has had on hiring, the fact that we’re increasingly seeing smaller drops in annual comparisons suggests we’re heading in the right direction.”

The growth is particularly encouraging given that the summer months are typically weak for hiring activity.

“Our main focus should be on the month on month figures. Year on year data in this scenario is a good reminder of the tough position the industry is in but another month of growth across vacancies, placements and sales is very positive,” said Joe McGuire, global sales director of staffing analytics provider cube19.

“Going into the holiday months, double-digit growth in most of the metrics is testament to the UK’s determination to get back on track. We usually expect to see things slow over the summer so we will be keeping a close eye on the data to see if we buck the trend this year.”

Read more: Tech jobseekers shun UK in favour of Europe