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Two Vacancies per UK Jobseeker

Two Vacancies per UK Jobseeker


A recent UK Employment Market Report from Adzuna has uncovered some rather interesting statistics concerning the state of the UK job landscape.

Perhaps most notably, they have found that the ratio between advertised vacancies and available job seekers is now 0.54, meaning that for every single UK jobseeker there are now about 2 vacancies available.

This ratio represents a decrease of almost 50% if compared with October 2014 when the figure was closer to 1 vacancy per UK jobseeker.  See table below for details on the 30% + increase in job vacancies over the past year.

Adzuna Report 2


On the face of it, this would suggest that it is almost twice as easy to get a job now as it was a year ago but as Doug Monro, co-founder of Adzuna comments, these simplistic figures betray a much more complex picture than that.

“Twice as many jobs should mean twice as many choices for UK jobseekers – but this is only true for those with the right skills. Rising vacancies are signalling a spiralling skills gap, which appears to be worsening as many positions are left empty. As the festive season approaches, employers and companies are yet again reliant on the delicate yet crucial role internally migrating workers and workers from overseas have to play.”


Wages rise much faster than advertised salaries

Another key point highlighted by the report is that there is a growing discrepancy between the salaries of those within work and the rates of pay for advertised vacancies.

The average salary for an advertised vacancy in the UK has been falling over the last 3 month period and now stands at £33,043 (as of October).  This constitutes a reduction of 0.2% on the previous month and an enormous 4.7% in the space of the last year. On the other hand average salaries of those in work have increased at an average rate of 2.5%.

For the most part this void in pay rates can be attributed to a shift in behaviours of employers in the face of an apparent skills shortage.  Employers are now opting to employ lower level staff and train them up, rather than take on costly workers at high levels of pay.

What this means for people already in work is that their earning potential is more likely to be higher if they stay within their current position, than it would be if they try to seek employment elsewhere.  As a result we may be seeing a situation unfold where workers are put off from seeking alternative employment, thus starving the employment market of valuable skills, and further perpetuating the low skill, low salary situation which many UK job seekers find themselves in.   See the table below for details on the industries / roles which saw the highest level of increase in advertised salaries.

Adzuna Report 5

North / South Divide Growing

The sharp decrease in advertised salaries seen over the past year becomes even more pronounced when you consider the figures of the south of the UK compared to those of the north.

The table below illustrates this point very clearly but a few statistics of note are;

  • Scotland has seen the largest drop in the rate of advertised salaries over the past year (-7.4%)
  • The South East of England has seen the lowest drop in advertised salaries of -2.3%
  • London bucks this trend quite considerably, seeing the second highest drop in advertised salaries at -7.1%, considerably higher than the UK average of -4.7%
  • Northern Ireland was the closest to this average figure seeing a 4.2% drop in advertised salaries when compared with 12 months before.

Adzuna Report 3

Doug explains: “A great divide is opening up in advertised salaries, as the North sees advertised pay rates slip more quickly than the South.

“Northern cities continue to struggle to reduce job competition, as there simply aren’t enough suitable jobs on offer within the region. And those areas with new openings often lack the applicants with appropriate skills. Part of this problem comes from graduates being drawn South by the charm of the capital. But more than that, public sector jobs have not been restored within the area and there still remain gaps within the Northern labour market – which the private sector has yet to fill.”


Best and Worst Places to Find  a Job

As is customary, the report also takes a look at the best and worst places in the UK in which to find a job.   The table below leaves little need for further explanation.


Adzuna Report 4


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