Employers squeeze salaries as vacancies rise, says Adzuna

More jobs are being advertised in the UK but at a lower average salary than a year ago, according to the latest UK employment market report by jobs search engine Adzuna.

Job vacancies in May were up by 1.4% to 460,493, compared with May 2012 figures. During this period, the average advertised annual salary dropped by 1.7% to £33,617. But when inflation is taken into account, the real term drop is 4.4%.

Adzuna head of research Flora Lowther said the rise in job numbers was being offset by lower pay.

“Rather than making redundancies and freezing hiring, employers are keeping a lid on the wages of existing employees and hiring new staff at lower salary levels,” he said.

Although salaries fell on a national basis, the IT sector bucked the trend with salaries rising by 5% to an average of £43,127 between November 2012 and May 2013. This is the biggest increase in any sector. More than half a million new IT jobs have been created in the past six months. 

Adzuna’s data also revealed a north/south divide in job opportunities; eight of the 10 hardest places to find a job are in the north. 

“In some areas, notably the North West, East and parts of Yorkshire, the labour market is suffering, partly thanks to public sector austerity,” she said. “The weakness of the private sector means it hasn’t been able to fill the space left by public sector redundancies, which has led to fierce competition.”