Global hiring stabilises even as pandemic keeps jobs market weak

[LONDON] The global jobs slump caused by the coronavirus pandemic is bottoming out, if data from LinkedIn is a guide.

The social networking platform says the percentage of its members who joined a new employer stabilised over the past six weeks, after plunging in March. France is showing the sharpest pickup, and Italy - one of Europe's hardest-hit nations - is seeing a "mild improvement".

It's an imperfect measure - LinkedIn is geared toward professional jobs - but it's another sign of a turning point in the fight against the disease. Many countries have started to loosen their lockdowns, allowing non-essential services to resume operations.

Still, hiring rates are considerably lower than a year ago. In China, the first country to respond to and emerge from the pandemic, hiring is now flat year-on-year. In the US, the world's largest economy, it is down about 35 per cent.

"We seem to be through the worst of hiring pullback," said Karin Kimbrough, chief economist at LinkedIn. "However, it's key to remember that even while hiring may be stabilising, we're still seeing millions lose their jobs. It will be years before we get back to the strong global labour market we saw at the start of 2020."


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