Advertised salaries reach standstill as optimism in job market stutters

Advertised salaries reached a standstill in March, as a slowdown in the jobs market takes hold according to the latest UK Job Market Report from Adzuna.co.uk. [via HR Review]

March saw the average advertised salary stall at £33,815, increasing just £15 from £33,800 in February – amounting to a 0.0 percent monthly rise. This tail-off comes after monthly rises of 0.6 percent, 0.8 percent and 0.6 percent across the preceding three months. On an annual basis, advertised salaries dropped 2.0 percent from £34,513 in March 2015.

After a promising start to 2016 signalling a potential rebound in salary growth, a jobs market slowdown is now impacting upon advertised pay. Recent political developments, including the implementation of the new National Living Wage in April, and even the uncertainty surrounding the upcoming June Brexit referendum may be bringing some elements of hesitancy to the jobs market – and restricting the pay on offer for new staff. As well as this, unemployment has risen for the first time in seven months, the latest ONS figures reveal, to reach 5.1 percent in February.

“It’s a time of turbulence for the jobs market. Unemployment is climbing and political uncertainty could well be impacting hiring plans. In particular, recent reports indicate hiring permanent staff may be being put on pause until after the EU Referendum as employers turn to temporary workers to fill gaps. Predictions of risks to jobs and the economy show how vulnerable the employment sector can be to wider economic change.

“The new National Living Wage also poses a natural challenge to the status quo. Nerves about bigger wage bills could mean staff perks will be first to go to fund company’s extra costs. These reports are already flowing in, with overtime pay already taking a hit. April’s legislation is a crucial step to getting fair pay for existing workers,” commented Doug Monro, co-founder of Adzuna.

Some of the industries that could be most affected by the National Living Wage have seen vacancies fall significantly from February, alongside seasonally expected drops in part-time jobs and customer services positions. The Retail sector in particular has seen available vacancies fall 7.0 percent month-on-month to total 31,801 positions.

The Manufacturing sector has also had a difficult month, with the average salary falling to £30,865 in March – down 1 percent from £31,309 the previous month. Employers may also be holding back on hiring as they await the results of the EU Referendum.

Photo: HR Review

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