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Vacancies up but salaries down, research finds

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Job vacancies in the UK are rising, but the average advertised salary has decreased by £1,800 in the last year, according to research by recruitment company Adzuna.

The Adzuna Job Market Report looks at the jobs advertised across the UK, from more than 300 sources.

The outlook is generally positive, with the number of roles advertised in March 24% higher than 12 months previously. 

The number of jobs advertised in March was 5.3% higher than the previous month, with 841,011 roles advertised.

However, the average salary of these positions was £31,818, down from £32,203 in February and over £33,600 in March 2013. 

Public/private shift

Adzuna co-founder Andrew Hunter said the change was due to a shift from public to private sector jobs. Since 2011 the number of public sector workers has fallen by almost 300,000. This hasn't led to overall unemployment, as the private sector has employed people at at least an equivalent rate. However, as public sector jobs have an average premium of between 2.2% and 3.1%, salaries have suffered. 

"The public sector has undoubtedly seen some shrinkage as a result of post-recession budget cuts, and the number of higher paid public workers has fallen," Hunter said. "But unemployment is continuing to fall, as private sector job creation more than fills the hole left in the workforce, particularly in the capital.”

Salaries in London are the worst affected, with public sector cuts all over the capital. Average advertised salaries fell 6.8% from March 2013 to March 2014. However, for every public sector job lost in the capital since 2011, eight private sector jobs have been created. 

Hunter believes that as the economy continues to improve, salaries will increase to reflect the healthier labour market.

"Output and demand are increasing, and as talent becomes harder to source, employers will need to start increasing wages in order to attract the best staff," he said.