UK pay and advertised vacancies fall again, wages down for 4th consecutive month

  • Wages down every month over the summer, as UK employers keep a lid on a pay rises amid economic uncertainty  
  • Total advertised vacancies this September sit at 1,137,904 – stalling over the summer and full-time vacancies down 5.5% YOY
  • In an otherwise stagnant market for salaries, Northern Ireland saw average advertised wages rise by 13.6% year on year
  • Travel industry workers in full-time employment are 10% better off this year compared to last, although the number of jobs available is significantly down  
  • Graduate employers are paying less in 2018, industry-wide advertised salaries are down 10.9% on 2017

The number of advertised vacancies across the UK has still not fully recovered from its slump in December 2017, according to the Adzuna Job Vacancy Index. The sluggish growth since the start of the year has stalled, with a monthly decline of 0.5% contributing to an average of 1,137,904, a 5.5% year-on-year decline.

Similarly, salaries are on a downward trend, but still remain close to their April 2018 peak. A small 0.3% monthly decline to a £33,470 average still means that there is year on year growth of 4.7%. Despite this longer term growth, this is the fourth consecutive month of such a decline, indicating the potential beginning of a trend that sees salaries stagnate, and punctures the real-term wage growth seen over the past year.

While wages and vacancies stutter, the macro-level number of ‘jobseekers per vacancy’ remains at record lows. This month, there are 0.36 jobseekers per advertised job in the UK - a new record low and a positive silver lining to an otherwise tepid picture.  

Andrew Hunter, co-founder of Adzuna, explains:

“Yet another low in competition for available roles means that this market is definitely a candidates’ market. However, it’s concerning to see salaries on a downward slide, and we can only hope this is a temporary blip as part of a positive long-term trend. The Adzuna data is clear - employers from SME’s all the way up to large corporates are uneasy, anxious, hesitant to invest. Brexit uncertainty is hitting business confidence and this can clearly be seen in hiring patterns and advertised salaries across the country.”

Regional breakdown

Swindon joins Oxford and Cambridge in the top spot as the best places to look for jobs, with around 17 vacancies for every jobseeker in these cities. The top five cities remain unchanged from August, though Reading and Warrington have dropped off the pack.

Conversely, Sunderland is still the hardest place to look for a job, with Hull and Salford still rounding out the top three. Hopeful signs exist however, as the number of jobseekers to vacancies is declining across these cities, in line with the overall national trend.

Slough replaces Winchester in the top ten, while Glasgow is a new entry into the bottom ten, replacing the Wirral.

Graduates feeling the pinch

It never feels like a good time to be a graduate, but even more so at the moment as average advertised salaries in Graduate Jobs are down 10.9% year-on-year. Perhaps this is a result of the summer flurry dying down, and the roles on offer are generally less attractive.

Teachers (almost) lead the way

With the second-largest increases in average advertised salary, jobs in the teaching sector have seen a 16.1% increase year-on-year in salary, lagging behind only Admin jobs. Teachers clearly won’t have to accept apples from pupils for much longer.

A welcome break for the Travel Industry

Bookings moving increasingly online and the demise of high street travel agents have seen job vacancies in the sector drop significantly in recent years. But it’s not all bad news, those remaining in travel jobs have seen rates of pay jump by 10% over the last year.

Press contacts

Andrew Hunter, Adzuna Co-founder

Melissa Malloy, Marlin PR

Report author Iain Moss, Adzuna

About Adzuna

Adzuna is a search engine for job ads used by over 10 million visitors per month that aims to list every job, everywhere. We search thousands of websites so our users don't have to, bringing together millions of ads in one place. By providing smarter search options and powerful data about the job market, we give jobseekers the information they need to take control of their careers.

Adzuna was founded in 2011 by Andrew Hunter and Doug Monro, formerly of eBay, Gumtree, Qype and Zoopla and is backed by leading Venture Capital firms Passion Capital, The Accelerator Group and Index Ventures.  

Our data also powers the Number 10 Dashboard, used by the Prime Minister and senior officials to keep track of economic growth on a daily basis, and is now provided to the Office for National Statistics to help them build real-time labour market indices.

Adzuna’s mission is to be the best place to start looking for a job. We love using the awesome power of technology to help match people to better, more fulfilling jobs and keep Britain working.

About the Adzuna Job Market Report

Adzuna has the most complete index of UK job vacancies covering all regions in the UK. The technology collects every job vacancy advertised online in the UK from over 500 sources. This data is then normalised, de-duplicated, mix-adjusted and outliers are removed in real time to give users an accurate, complete, up to the minute view of the job market.

Claimant count data is based on the latest Labour Market Statistics released in September 2018 by the ONS. The city areas referred to in this study are the top 50 cities in the UK, ranked by comparing the job vacancies in Adzuna’s comprehensive search index of over 1,000,000 live jobs to the number of claimants in each city from the latest ONS data released in September 2018.

The full Jobseeker’s Allowance claimant count statistics are available for download here:


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