Job vacancies reach 12-month high but salaries stagnate

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The number of available jobs reached a 12-month high in November, with more than a million vacancies across the country, however salaries are stagnating, according to the latest UK Job Market Report from Adzuna.

Total vacancies of 1,165,052 in November represent a 1.3% increase compared to figures six months ago and is the largest number of advertised openings since the 1,244,772 posted in November 2015.

According to the latest figures from the ONS, the employment rate is currently 74.4%, marginally down from the joint record high earlier in the year, but up from last December’s 73.9%.

The continued emergence of the gig economy helped contribute to the fall in unemployment throughout 2016, suggesting short-term and flexible employment will continue to play a key role in the jobs market in 2017 and beyond.

However, while the number of opportunities continues to rise, salaries are still stagnating.

The average advertised salary now stands at £32,221, down 2.7% in comparison to figures in November last year, which showed an average of £33,118.

Advertised salaries have been steadily decreasing for more than two years now according to Adzuna data, with the increase in total vacancies weakening the average.

Variations in salary have also been impacted by wider socio-economic factors such as the gender pay gap, an issue that remains unresolved.

According to a recent survey conducted by the Chartered Management Institute, male managers receive average bonuses of £5,398, in comparison to their female counterparts who receive just £2,764.

In addition to gender pay issues and flatlining wages, there also remains a degree of uncertainty around how Brexit might impact the supply of labour and the knock-on implications for salaries.

Latest figures from the National Institute of Economic and Social Research suggest that annual net migration from the EU could fall as much as 150,000, a significant proportion given current levels of 284,000 per year.

Doug Monro, co-founder of Adzuna, said: “The jobs market has fared well in the main this year, given the unexpected events within the political climate.

“Despite total advertised vacancies increasing significantly, it may be too early to brand the jobs market a completely success given salary stagnation and the unpredictability that may lie ahead in the coming New Year.”

“2017 will certainly bring new prospects and challenges for the jobs market and the sooner Brexit plans are confirmed, the sooner businesses and individuals will be able to plan for the future with more certainty.”