‘Competition for jobs falls to six-year low’

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COMPETITION for jobs has fallen to a six-year low, mainly due to a boom in parts of the North of England, according to a new report.

The study found that Hull was one of the cities that was bouncing back the fastest, as the UK economy shows signs of a sustainable recovery.

Jobs site Adzuna said there were more vacancies than jobseekers in 20 towns and cities.

Andrew Hunter, co-founder of Adzuna, said: “The robust economic recovery has relieved the log-jam in the labour market, clearing the way for the creation of far more jobs across the nation.

“Vacancies have boomed over the last year and the number of jobseekers chasing down each role has fallen to a six-year low.

“Businesses are expanding and taking on new staff as profits begin to flow into their balance sheets. Jobseekers looking to move have far more options to choose from.”

The fall in competition among job seekers has been helped by rapidly recovering regional economies, particularly in Northern England.

Twelve months ago, there were more than 20 job seekers competing for each advertised position in half of the towns in the North. A year later competition in these towns has halved.

In May 2013, the Wirral was the worst area to find a job in the UK, with nearly 57 job seekers per vacancy. In May 2014, the number of applicants per role in the Wirrall had fallen to just 17. This trend was echoed across the North West and Yorkshire. In Salford, the worst city to find a job in May 2014, the number of job seekers chasing each role has fallen from 49 to 20, while in Sunderland it has declined from 40 to 14.

Mr Hunter said: “Growing manufacturing opportunities in the North West and Yorkshire are beginning to bridge the North-South divide in the labour market. Osborne’s ‘Northern powerhouse’ proposals for a high speed rail link between Manchester and Leeds will no doubt close that gap even further.

“In order to support workers from the top to the tail of the UK, we need more projects that will connect and develop pockets of industry and continue to stimulate new job vacancies. HS3 should be the latest scheme of many.”

The best city to find a job in the UK in May was Cambridge, with a ratio of 0.15 jobseekers to vacancies, compared with 0.60 a year ago. In other words, there are seven jobs for every jobseeker – up from two just twelve months ago.

The labour market is showing evidence of emerging wage growth, with pay increasing for the second consecutive month in May. Advertised salaries increased 1.2 per cent between March and April, and a further 0.6 per cent in the month to May 2014. Live Adzuna data shows this trend continuing into June.

Every region of the UK, apart from Northern Ireland, saw salary growth between April and May, with the West Midlands, Yorkshire and the Humber and London showing the strongest growth in pay rates, according to Adzuna’s research.

Advertised salaries in the West Midlands rose 1.4 per cent month-on-month in May to £28,352, helped by growing business investment in Birmingham, although wages in the region remain around £4,000 lower than the UK average.

Yorkshire and the Humber – the area with the lowest average salary – experienced the second strongest salary growth (+1.0 per cent) in May to £27,689, the survey found.