Vacancies rise to set new post-recession record

Doug Monro  of Adzuna

Doug Monro of Adzuna

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THE NUMBER of advertised job vacancies in the UK has risen to set a new post-recession record, which could fuel wage inflation, according to a new study.

The survey, conducted by Adzuna, found that there were 1.24m advertised vacancies across the UK last month, an increase of 31.1 per cent on a year ago. This total beat the previous record of 1.23m vacancies, which was set in October.

In Yorkshire and the Humber, the average salary was £29,629, which is a 3.1 per cent drop year-on-year, and reflects a period when all the UK regions suffered a fall in advertised salaries.

A spokesman for Adzuna, which is a search engine for job adverts, said: “As a festive influx of roles enter the jobs market, more seasonal and temporary positions are providing a last-minute lift towards the end of the year. This growth in vacancies has been accompanied by a monthly rise in average advertised salaries – the first increase for eight months.”

The UK average advertised salary now stands at £33,112, up 0.2 per cent from £33,043 in October. This increase could be the first signal of wage inflation, according to Adzuna.

A falling unemployment rate also had a substantial impact in November, the report said. According to the latest figures from the ONS, the unemployment rate is now 5.2 per cent– its lowest level since the three months to January 2006. An increase in self-employment has contributed to rising employment, with just 641,989 claimants recorded this month.

Adzuna’s report said: “As a result, the ratio of jobseekers to vacancies has further declined in November, to also reach a record post-recession low of 0.52 per position. Since November 2014, job competition has reduced by a staggering 71.2 per cent from 0.89.”

Doug Monro, the co-founder of Adzuna, said: “The past year has been a testing time for the
UK jobs market. While overall falling unemployment and rising real wages have contributed to solid foundations for job hunters – there are still major cracks which can’t be easily repaired. Rising vacancies can be a sign of strength, but also a sign of imbalance.

“Festive roles have boosted vacancy numbers, but this will only provide a short-term impetus. The skills shortage within the labour market, which has been constant throughout the year, has resulted in vacancies remaining unfilled for longer.

“However, there are positive signs to be taken from November’s jobs market. Average advertised salaries have finally started to climb upwards. This could be fantastic for jobseekers who can look forward to getting the salary they deserve.

“The New Year will certainly bring new challenges for the jobs market. With the National Living Wage being implemented in April, employers will be forced to adjust and this might be at the expense of increasing staff
numbers. As more and more employers are required to offer workplace pensions by law, there is additional pressure on bottom lines. The jobs market
will hopefully prove its resilience and adapt to these new
changes.”

November saw the first rise in advertised salaries across the UK for eight months. Despite this increase it’s been a year of declining advertised salaries across the board in 2015, Adzuna’s study found.

London and Scotland have seen the worst falls in advertised pay, according to Adzuna.

The report said: “The capital has been the hardest hit region, seeing a 6.4 per cent fall to £39,795. Scotland has seen a substantial fall of 6.2 per cent to £30,917.

“The average position in South East England offers £32,011. When compared with the highest average salary in the North, £29,756 in North West England, it’s clear that the North-South divide is going strong – 2016 could be the year for the North to strike back.”

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