In today’s Shedding Light on the Labour Market, we take a look at the skills that have seen the fastest growth in employer demand since the start of the Covid-19 crisis.

In order to make the analysis more dynamic than looking across all occupations together, we have picked out the fastest growth skills in four occupation categories, which have differing skills requirements.

These are:

  • High skilled (Standard Occupation Classification (SOC) 1-3)
  • Middle skilled (SOC 4-5)
  • Service-oriented (SOC 6-7)
  • Labour intensive (SOC 8-9)

Click on the tabs at the top of the chart to view the data for each category:

High Skilled

Looking at High Skilled occupations first, we can see that they are dominated by digital and tech skills, with Cyber Security in particular seeing a huge rise in employer postings at nearly 90%, Software as a Service (62.2%), and Microsoft Azure (57.4%). The changing dynamics of work over the last year can also be seen in some of the skills showing up on the chart.

For instance, with organisations unable to host or attend conferences, this has meant that they have had to significantly increase their online presence, and we can see this reflected by the 36.8% growth in demand for Digital Marketing.

Middle Skilled

Moving on to Middle Skills, here we see a number of manual skills showing big increases in demand, such as painting (145.6%), plastering (121.2%) and carpentry (93.7%). But there are also a number of skills that are closely connected with the Covid crisis, both directly and indirectly, which have seen big increases.

For instance, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Safety Standards, which are very much directly connected, grew by 85.4% and 40.0% respectively over the period, whilst the increase in demand for Warehousing (33.7%), reflects the more indirect growth in online sales that has occurred.


When we come to Service-oriented skills, we can see very clearly a number of skills that have grown in importance to employers that are intrinsically connected with the health issues surrounding Covid. For instance, Vaccination and PPE have both grown by well over 600% over the period, whilst things like Blood Pressure and Medication Administration have also seen big growth.

Other than this direct health aspect, demand has also grown for a number skills more indirectly associated with the crisis, particularly in the Care sector, such as Caregiving (a rise of 107.7%), Meal Planning and Preparation (72.0%), and Home Care (32.1%).

Labour Intensive

Finally, looking at the skills associated with more labour intensive occupations, again we see PPE being in high demand (58.2% growth), as well as a number of skills that are reflective of the increased demand for online services and deliveries. These include Packaging and Labelling (83.4%), Warehouse Management Systems (79.2%), and Package Sorting (75.0%).

As we go through this year, we will hopefully see less demand for those skills that are directly linked to the health aspect of the crisis. What will be interesting to see, however, is whether those skills that are linked to the more indirect aspects, such as online retail and warehousing, continue to see strong demand, or whether they too will begin to see less demand as shopping habits revert more to a pre-Covid situation.

Contact Emsi to find out how growth skills can be identified in your area.

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