With three national lockdowns and a furloughed job market, the past year has been pretty sobering for the United Kingdom, but with the government’s four-stage roadmap to ease restrictions, things are finally looking up.
Airtasker’s inaugural Consumer Task Trends Report: 2020-2021 compares posted tasks on the platform from March 2020 to February 2021 to identify the highest growth categories during the lockdown. We have also pulled out the key categories that we predict will continue to see sharp demand throughout 2021 and in a post-lockdown world.
Here at Airtasker, we’re passionate about helping people realise the full value of their skills which is why we believe the flexible labour economy can help Brits find new income streams, particularly when the Furlough and Universal Credit schemes end in September this year.
Our report takes a glass-half-full approach and reviews the increased demand for task categories during the pandemic, so before we dive into the results, we want to acknowledge the gravity of what’s happened in the labour market this past year and to recognise the incredible work of our frontline workers, whose skills will always be needed and highly valued within the wider UK community.
So without further ado – what were the top 10 in-demand skills during the lockdown…
What did Brits need to be done during the lockdown?
Across the board, posted tasks for roof tiling (533%), mechanics (449%) and market research (300%) topped the list, with the broader skills of trades, marketing and tech services featuring prominently.
1. Tradies for the win
Roof-tiling – who would have thought!? But with the stay-at-home orders, it’s clear that many Brits had time to prioritise home upgrades during the lockdown and accessed local tradespeople with specialised skills across tiling, mechanics, glass installation and building.
As we enter the spring property season, owners will likely do more home improvements and upgrades, so trades and handyman skills will continue to be in demand.
Many of us have been glued to our screens during the lockdown, so it’s no surprise that television and home entertainment equipment installation saw huge year-on-year (YoY) growth when comparing March 2020 to February 2021. Tradies for the win!
2. Marketing gurus wanted
The insights also revealed an upward swing for marketing tasks, with market research – marketing, internet research and data collection – up by 300%.
Copywriting and editing services, which also fall under the marketing umbrella, rose by 220% year-on-year.
Despite the challenges of COVID-19, this demonstrates the entrepreneurial spirit of many Brits. As seen in a recent survey¹, it finds that one-fifth of Brits launched their own enterprise during the pandemic, so with more businesses will come sustained demand for marketing and business-related tasks.
3. Remote work drives a tech skills boom
Computer and IT service posts were up 115% year-on-year, which illustrates the shift towards remote work as people fired up their laptops and Zoom calls from home during the lockdown.
Even when restrictions ease, many people will continue to work from home and need extra support with hardware, software and network connectivity. Hence, it’s likely this trend will continue in a post lockdown world.
The top 10 task categories in 2020-2021:
|Service category||Tasks||Percentage increase|
|Market research||Survey / marketing / internet research / data collection||300%|
|Handyperson||Television, radio, stereo & home entertainment equipment||225%|
|Marketing||Copywriting and editing services||220%|
|Cleaning||Carwashing and car cleaning||200%|
|Sewing/clothing||Sewing and clothing repairs||200%|
|Computer & IT||Hardware, software and network support||115%|
*Source: Tableau insights March 2020 – Feb 2021
Our report findings are consistent with LinkedIn’s list of roles on the rise for 2021, where construction, e-commerce and digital content skills were also recognised as some of the UK’s fastest-growing sectors for this year.
So if you’re looking to unlock additional income this year, consider upskilling or offering your existing skills across one of these in-demand categories.
To date, there are nearly 80,000 Taskers on the UK platform, with over £16.8 million generated in job opportunities. Hence, if you’d like to contribute to our community, create an Airtasker account today.
¹ The survey was conducted by online marketplace Notonthehighstreet and included 2,000 respondents.