Latest Job Market Statistics Shows Advertised Salaries Hit Three-Year Low
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Average advertised salaries have plunged to a three-year low of £32,199, according to the latest labour market data from the smart chaps at Adzuna.
The last time wages sunk this low was in April 2014 when they reached £32,185. The current average also represents a 1.5% annual decrease from the £32,688 posted in July 2016. Regionally, South East England has endured the slowest pace of wage growth as salaries have fallen by 3.3% behind last year’s figures, residing at £30,683.
In contrast, salaries in Northern Ireland are facing an uptick of 2.3% from last year to currently sit at £29,690. The strain on incomes is expected to get worse before it gets better as the cost of living is rising at a faster rate than wage growth, but positive improvements in some regions hint at potential signs of recuperation.
Meanwhile, vacancies have fared much better than wages, with a 6.6% annual increase meaning there are 1,231,552 currently available openings. Opportunities for jobseekers and employees are rife at present – despite Brexit plans on the horizon – with more roles being created and the jobs market continuing to prove itself resilient.
With recent predictions stating Brexit could stimulate the UK economy by up to £135bn and increase overall productivity according to Economists for Free Trade (EFT), the jobs market could stand to benefit from the boost in national output. This means a boost in not only the quantity of vacancies, but potentially the quality on offer too which could reignite wage growth.
Graduate salaries move towards the top of the class
With the latest generation of school leavers collecting their A-level results recently, those heading off to university will be pleased to hear that graduate salaries are up 3.6% from a year ago to sit at £24,454.
Employers continue to offer attractive salary packages to secure the best graduates, but with two-fifths of 18-year olds in the UK currently going on to university it can be difficult for employers to identify the top candidates. The 2017 A-level results also showed that boys performed slightly better than girls for the first time since 2000.
It is vital that opportunities are widened for all school leavers, be it those heading into higher education or straight into apprenticeships. The number of vacancies for skilled workers is rising so both sets of school leavers need to be catered for in order to develop employees with the core skills needed for tomorrow’s companies.
There is still no guarantee academic qualifications will lead to a higher salary as employers may still hold the cards when it comes to wage bargaining. According to Resolution Foundation data, young graduates who are traditionally always the most mobile, are half as likely to move jobs now as in the 1990s. This means prospective jobseekers should aspire to adopting a combination of both academic and professional experience that is both transferable and contextually relevant such as tech and IT skills.
Doug Monro, co-founder of Adzuna, explains: “The forecast for the jobs market seems to be continued dry spells of poor wage growth that will cause a drought the labour market for the foreseeable future. However, sunny spells could lay ahead if certain Brexit predictions come to fruition and the national output is boosted. Adzuna data shows there are a growing number of advertised vacancies available for skilled workers and jobseekers should make the most of the opportunity.
“As the cost of living is growing at a rate faster than wage growth, a sensible financial attitude is key. With advertised salaries so stagnant, those already in employment may be best served remaining in their existing roles and seeing if they can improve their wage that way. While the current climate is slightly gloomy, looking ahead will help maintain optimism as the UK could be on the verge of economic prosperity if the appropriate Brexit strategy is implemented, in which case it will be brighter later.”
Gig economy continues to thrive after Government review
The gig economy has helped to underpin the record number of people in work in recent times. The Taylor review published last month shone a spotlight on the sector and called for a baseline of protection, fairness and government accountability. Theresa May acknowledged the importance and flexibility that the movement has created and promised to avoid burdening it with any overbearing regulation.
It is now estimated that around 1.1 million people in the UK operate within the gig economy, providing an array of services from accountancy and legal advice to plumbing, building and other skilled manual work, according to the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce). Given the valuable service such workers provide and the jobs that are created by the gig economy, it is vital that the Government continues to help it flourish.
Hospitality sector thrives from summer seasonality
The hospitality sector has seen an increase in advertised vacancies of 16.2% since the start of the year, from 44,542 openings in January to 51,880 in July, to meet the demand of summer seasonality. Hospitality vacancies are also up by more than a fifth from July 2016, with the popularity of staycation holidays soaring since the Brexit vote. Unfavourable exchange rates have also deterred Britons from heading overseas with Visit England reporting an increase in British holidays with more than 11 million trips since January.
However, the future of the hospitality industry lies in the hands of the flow of skilled labour from Europe. Following recent figures from the ONS, the hospitality industry could benefit from hiring young people who are economically inactive.
Doug Monro, co-founder of Adzuna, comments: “More of us are swapping the Mediterranean for Margate and choosing to holiday closer to home, and as a result the hospitality industry is thriving.
“The hospitality sector is a prime example of the importance of a clear-cut pro-migration strategy in order for the UK labour market to thrive. The skilled labour force from the EU has contributed and enhanced our talent pool in the UK to deliver good customer service. In busy time periods especially, it is evident to see the fruits of their labour as people of all ages rely on such services during their leisure time.”