The number of advertised vacancies in the UK has taken a tumble in recent months, with the latest data showing a fall of 1.4% month-on-month. This volume is still above its April 2018 slump, but represents a 3.1% decline year on year and a definite ‘cooling off’ of the job market as we near the end of the year.
More worryingly, advertised salaries are on their fifth consecutive month of negative growth. While the longer term trend is still positive these developments threaten to derail the wage recovery the UK economy experienced in the first half of 2018.
Despite the fall in vacancies, the competition for these vacancies is at an all time low. It has fallen to a new low since Adzuna started measuring this in 2012, standing at 0.34 jobseekers per vacancy nationwide. This translates to there being approximately 3 jobs per jobseeker.
While it’s clear that record levels of unemployment are keeping the job market propped up, Adzuna’s search data also shows a 12% year on year drop in the number of applications for British jobs from France, Germany, Italy & Spain.
Andrew Hunter, co-founder of Adzuna, explains:
“It’s worrying to see salaries declining once again, just as real wages were looking like recovering back towards where they were in 2012. Given the competition for jobs is at an all time low, we’d expect salaries to rise as companies compete for the remaining top talent.
“That said, I am buoyed by the fact that over 180,000 British workers will see a bump in their pay from this month, as the ‘real living wage’ rises to £9 per hour across the country.
“Brexit is clearly having an impact on the health of the U.K job market. Adzuna’s data clearly shows vacancies and wages feeling the pressure, and interestingly, migration patterns for jobs look to be changing as application rates for British jobs drop from workers on the continent.”
Table 1: Total advertised vacancies and salaries
|February 2019||February 2018||Annual Change|
|Jobseekers per vacancy||0.26||0.43||-0.17|
Table 2: Best-performing job sectors in the UK – annual salaries
|Job sector||Average salary||Salary % |
12 Month Change
|Creative & Design Jobs||£34,862||8.6%||8,887|
Table 3: Worst-performing job sectors in the UK – annual salaries
|Reigon||Average Salary||Annual Change|
|North East England||£30,141||4.5%|
|North West England||£31,396||4.0%|
|South East England||£33,181||3.7%|
|South West England||£33,319||8.9%|
|Yorkshire and The Humber||£30,906||2.7%|
It pays to teach
Teaching jobs are experiencing a boost in advertised salaries, up 16.5% year on year, and is currently the fastest growing job sector for salaries. There has also been a small increase in the number of vacancies being advertised, which may point to a struggle to hire and retain teaching staff nationwide.
Cleaners sweeping up the scraps
At the other end of the scale, Domestic Help and Cleaning jobs are falling significantly from an already low base, meaning that cleaners are really feeling the pinch. Also among the sectors that are struggling are Scientific & QA jobs, which has seen a nearly 6% decline in salaries over the past 12 months.