UK job vacancies remain steady as advertised salaries return to their post-pandemic peak

A new UK job market report compiled by Adzuna reveals a changing landscape and an up-to-date snapshot of current employment opportunities.
UK job vacancies remain steady as advertised salaries return to their post-pandemic peak

Since the beginning of 2023, we've heard about a lot of layoffs within European startups. So one would expect that there is a higher demand for the jobs, compared to the offerings. The fact is that the jobs are being filled quickly and that there is continued strong demand in the economy rather than chronic shortages and jobs going unfilled.

The research about the job market in the UK was conducted by Adzuna, a smarter job search engine. According to their UK Job Market Report, prospects for job hunters in the UK continued to improve in April, thus showing the early signs of recovery seen in March. The report also states that there were almost 1.05 million job postings across the UK – up 0.18% month-on-month – and average annual advertised salaries increased to £37,658, a rise of 0.34% since March. 

Although the vacancies were higher in April compared to March 2023 (marking 0,18% growth), they were still lower compared to the same period last year (19,45% lower). On the other side, both aspects of jobseekers per vacancy and average advertised UK salary were higher in April 2023 compared to the previous month, but also to the same period last year. Another positive trend is definitely the fact that advertised salaries for open roles across the UK have now recovered to Spring 2021 levels when salaries were the highest they’ve been since Adzuna’s records began in 2016. 

Even if these numbers look promising, as always when we see some "growth“ just this way of analysing is not enough, as we have to take into account the general macroeconomic movements to make a conclusion on how much is this good.

Which jobs are now the most popular in the UK?

While the total number of vacancies rose in April, more than three-quarters of sectors (77%) saw falling vacancies. The month saw a continued increase in roles across:

  • hospitality and catering (3.34%),
  • energy, oil and gas (0.7%) and
  • nursing (0.7%).

On the contrary side, logistics and warehouse vacancies dropped by 10.2% in April, after rising by one of the highest levels (8%) in March. IT vacancies saw a 4.5% drop followed by graduate roles (4.4%). 

The rise of salaries and competition!

As stated, average advertised salaries have been increasing consecutively month-on-month (0,34%). Although this growth is still low, looking from month-on-perspective, when it comes to the annual level, the growth amounts to 3%. It is still not enough to keep up with inflation, which was 7.2% on average in April, yet the gap between the two is closing. 

The report reveals that the biggest annual growth in advertised salaries in April was seen in:

  • Healthcare and Nursing jobs (up 17.1%),
  • and Domestic and Cleaning roles (up 13.1%)

The biggest annual drops were seen in IT (4.6%) and HR and Recruitment jobs (3.6%). 

It is also evident that the competition is rising, as the number of jobseekers for each vacancy grew 0,04% in April compared to March, but also 2,9% compared to the same period last year. And what is important, this figure has been climbing steadily since last summer. At the same time, roles are being filled faster than at any time since 2016. That means that employers need on average just 36 days to fill positions across the UK which are some of the lowest levels in six years. 

What are the best areas to look for work?

For the second month running, Northern Ireland had the highest year-on-year average advertised salary increase in the regions (up 9.7%), followed by Yorkshire and the Humber (8.8%) and the North East (7.9%) while South East England saw the lowest increase (4.62%). 

On the city level, Cambridge remains the best place to get a job in the UK, with more than 9.000 advertised roles and around 0.26 jobseekers per vacancy. The average advertised salary is still second only to London. Other areas with low competition for jobs include Guildford (0.36), Exeter (0.45) and Oxford (0.57). 

Although the monthly increases are smaller than what we saw in previous months, we are seeing more jobs available than ever before this year. As a result, jobseekers are still facing high competition but employers are filling positions at a faster rate. It's clear that the job market is still volatile, but we are encouraged by the steady growth we're seeing. Andrew Hunter, co-founder at Adzuna

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