The UK Job Market Report by job search engine Adzuna has seen job vacancies continuing to fall in the UK, while key sectors such as Retail and Logistics & Warehouse are seeing demand rise as companies prepare for the Christmas season.

Overall, UK vacancies in August fell to 1,039,198, down -0.78 per cent since July 2023, and average advertised salaries have also fallen to £37,697, down -0.14 per cent, as often happens during the summer months. During the same time period last year, vacancies fell -4.22 per cent between July and August, demonstrating that there is still a competitive market for hiring in 2023 and companies are trying to fill critical roles.

The gap between annual vacancies for 2022 and 2023 is also the lowest it’s been at -7.7 per cent in August, compared to -10.96 per cent in July, with year-on-year hiring continuing to improve as part of the long-term recovery for the UK job market.

Annual advertised salaries edged down from July to August but remain +3.35 per cent higher than this time last year. The trend for employers to post jobs without advertised salaries, first spotted last month, continues as employers try to keep pay rates for new joiners confidential. In August, 50.1 per cent of job ads featured advertised salaries compared to 49.9 per cent without.

Logistics holding strong as legal jobs fall

Two-thirds of sectors are experiencing a decline in job vacancies in August, following July’s lead. The Legal sector experienced a -4.88 per cent fall in job roles, compared to July when it was one of the strongest. Graduate jobs also continue to decline, down -5.49 per cent monthly and -21.11 per cent annually, furthering pressure on new graduates entering the job market following the end of their studies. PR, Advertising & Marketing (-5.53 per cent) and Teaching (-5.77 per cent) also experienced notable falls.

Despite the continued fall in Teaching vacancies, it remains the biggest recruiting sector with over 110,000 available positions in August. Compared to last August, there are nearly double the number of teaching roles available (+43.3 per cent) and it is one of the sectors with the largest increase in annual salary compared to 2022, up +8.7 per cent.

There are other positives in the UK jobs market: Retail and Logistics & Warehouse sectors have seen the biggest monthly increase in advertised jobs, up +4.73 per cent and +3.6 per cent respectively, following strong growth in July, particularly at the big grocers including Asda, Lidl and Tesco. It’s common to see these sectors ramp up hiring in the autumn ahead of the Christmas period, however by starting earlier in the year it could be because companies are predicting difficulties filling seasonal vacancies later down the line. Manufacturing (+1.14 per cent), Property (+0.91 per cent) and Sales all experienced modest increases (+0.69 per cent).

Salaries continue to fall slightly

After falling for the first time this year in July, average advertised salaries continued to decline in August to £37,697, down -0.14 per cent, reflecting indications that the wage growth experienced over the past few months may have stopped.

The fall in overall salaries was seen across the UK, with half of sectors experiencing a drop in August compared to the previous month. Energy, Oil & Gas jobs saw advertised salaries increase the most, (+2.14 per cent) whilst Retail experienced a drop of -1.49 per cent. Given that vacancies have increased by nearly 5 per cent in the Retail sector, the fall in average advertised salaries points to an increase in entry and junior positions.

Andrew Hunter, co-founder at Adzuna, said: “The data continues to show some weakness across the UK economy with vacancies and salaries falling slightly, which might be expected in August, but not by as much as we usually see at this time of year. However, it may be that optimism earlier in the year that vacancies were on the climb is petering out. The drop in salaries registered demonstrates that employers are continuing to be cautious about growing their teams, while at the same time being wary of provoking requests from current employees for pay rises.”

Tony Wilson, Director at Institute for Employment Studies, said: “This data lends more weight to the evidence that the labour market is loosening, with vacancies down on a year ago and signs that advertised salaries may have started to level off over the summer. Nonetheless, vacancies remain very high by historic standards, and the fact that firms are taking slightly longer to fill their jobs suggests that many are still struggling with finding the right candidates and skills. This reiterates why we can’t just rely on interest rates to deal with inflation, we need action on the supply side too, to help those out of work and employers to fill their jobs.”

Adzuna’s monthly UK Job Market Report provides the most up-to-date snapshot of employment opportunities across the country, based on every job vacancy advertised online in the UK from over 1,000 sources, across all UK regions. Adzuna also supplies real-time data to the Number 10 Dashboard, the Cabinet Office and the Office for National Statistics labour market indices. More granular data breakdowns at a local authority, job title, or skill level, are available via Adzuna Intelligence.

Stay up to date

Keep me up to date to receive all the latest news and updates.