The UK Job Market Report by Adzuna has recorded a fall in job vacancies and advertised salaries for the first time this year. After six months of month-on-month growth, the total number of UK vacancies in July decreased to 1,047,366, a drop of -1.11 per cent compared to June. At the same time, the average advertised salaries fell -0.15 per cent to £37,750 from £37,780.

The fall in vacancies is consistent with trends seen in previous years. Businesses typically slow hiring during quieter summer months before ramping up recruitment for Q4. Last summer, for instance, hiring fell by -2.08 per cent between June and July. This means that the recent decline is almost half what it was this time last year.

What’s more, despite the month-on-month decline, the year-on-year gap continues to shrink. In May, the year-on-year vacancy gap was -16.8 per cent. In June this shrunk to -12 per cent and by July 2023, the gap was just -10.96 per cent compared to July 2022, all of which points to long-term recovery for the UK job market.

In addition, despite the drop in advertised pay cheques, jobseekers continue to see some of the highest salary figures since early 2021. However, for the first time ever, there are now more job postings without advertised salaries (50.1 per cent of job ads) compared to jobs with (49.9 per cent), in what is set to be a blow to salary transparency campaigns, as employers are becoming more secretive about pay rates for new employees.

Average advertised salaries have fallen for the first time this year to £37,750 in July, down (-0.15 per cent) from June. Despite the return to May 2023 levels, advertised pay rates remain at some of the highest figures seen since early 2021.

This is also demonstrated in the annual increase in advertised salaries across the board. Only three sectors registered a fall in average advertised salaries compared to last July, scientific and QA jobs (-1.58 per cent), IT jobs (-4.24 per cent), and HR & recruitment (-5.91 per cent). Social work jobs have experienced the biggest increase in advertised salaries, up +20.47 per cent to £33,577 on average compared to July whilst PR, advertising and marketing roles saw the smallest annual increase (+0.04 per cent).

“The UK jobs market has entered its summer slowdown period with vacancies down, advertised salaries down and the time to fill roles increasing,” Andrew Hunter, co-founder at Adzuna, said: “Whilst it’s natural to see vacancies fall during the summer months, as companies traditionally slow hiring, the early figures for July’s jobs data will demonstrate to UK policymakers that inflation truly should be on a downward trajectory. Despite the wider slowdown, sectors continue to see advertised annual salaries rise compared to last year, with only a handful of sectors experiencing falling salaries. That being said, employers are becoming more secretive about pay rates, with over half of job adverts going live without salary details for the first time ever in a blow to salary transparency campaigners.”

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