Adzuna’s latest UK Job Market Report has recorded advertised pay rates increasing by more than £3,000 over the past two years, despite Brexit uncertainty. According to the company, April 2019 saw average UK advertised salaries hit £35,722, 0.9 per cent higher than in March (£35,390) and 5.1 per cent up from April 2018 (£33,973), finally outpacing inflation rates of two per cent. Compared to the average salary on offer in April 2017 (£32,678), wages have been boosted 9.3 per cent, meaning salaries have increased £3,044 over the last two years.
In a further sign of investment, the last three months have also seen steady growth in the number of advertised jobs on offer. There were 1,129,267 advertised vacancies available in April, up 3.3 per cent compared to March (1,093,054) and 2.8 per cent higher than a year ago (1,098,259).
In a third piece of good news for jobseekers, competition for jobs has fallen to a record low, with a ratio of 0.21 jobseekers per vacancy in April. This means there are around five times more jobs being advertised than workers looking for new roles, the highest rate recorded since Adzuna began collecting the data seven years ago. Competition for jobs is now significantly lower than the ratio of 0.43 jobseekers per vacancy recorded a year ago, with the talent war showing no signs of letting up.
Salaries for domestic help workers and cleaners have seen the biggest surge year-on-year, rising 15.5 per cent to £19,746. This is followed by admin jobs, who have seen average salaries rise 9.2 per cent to £28,975. Hospitality and catering also make notable advances in terms of salaries, with a 9 per cent year-on-year increase to £23,606.
Meanwhile, the employment rate sits at a record high of 76.1 per cent, according to the latest Q1 figures from the ONS. This includes the highest proportion of women in work since records began in 1971, with 71.8 per cent of women between the ages of 16 and 64 in employment. Q1 also recorded a record number of EU nationals employed in the UK workforce, accounting for 2.38m workers, according to the data.
“Brexit negotiations may be grinding to a halt, but the resilient jobs market is still moving steadily forwards,” says Andrew Hunter, co-founder of Adzuna. “After a slow start to the year, job vacancy levels are bouncing back and pay rises are finally beating inflation. Employees too are in high spirits with more workers switching between roles. And retention rates for women in the workforce are improving. The promise of summer is showing in increased opportunities throughout the jobs market.
“The EU extension has given the market a temporary reprieve from political deadlock, lifting the moods of employers,” he adds, “But many are still hedging their bets. The vacancy boom is partly due to cautious employers preferring to hire temporary staff than make more expensive, permanent investments in infrastructure. To a certain extent, the tight market and shortage of talent is forcing these wage rises. EU workers are a critical component to the UK workforce, meaning if Brexit narrows the pool of talent even further, employers will have to work even harder to attract, retain and re-train their staff.”