Average advertised salaries (£32,743) continue to show month-on-month growth of 0.2%, despite inflation taking its toll on disposable incomes, according to Adzuna.co.uk.
Salaries are continuing to show short-term improvements, climbing up 1.6% on a six-month basis. Despite showing only incremental increases, it is an early indicator that salaries are beginning to bite back against rising affordability issues. However in the longer term, wage growth continues to struggle against the rising inflation rate that now currently sits at a four-year higjobseekers are clamping down on spending and prioritising essentials.
According to think tank the Resolution Foundation, there is a growing concern surrounding the unequal distribution of wealth across Britain. In comparison to last year’s figures, Adzuna data shows total advertised vacancies increased at a higher rate year-on-year than average advertised salaries. The longer-term shrinking of average salaries is having a knock-on effect on the levels of home ownership, which is fuelling the wealth divide between rich and poor as the gap between wages and inflation widens.
Salary improvements in Wales counter recent ONS figures that show household income in Wales is the lowest of the UK nations. According to Adzuna’s jobs data, average salaries in Wales currently sit at £29,857, up 2.2% year-on-year while other regions such as London (-0.9%) and Scotland (-2.5%) post negative results. Northern Ireland (0.5%) and Eastern England (0.3%) also show signs of annual salary increases while advertised wages are struggling elsewhere. While typical salaries in Wales may be starting from a lower base than other regions, it is nonetheless encouraging to see them heading northwards.
Advertised vacancies remain high, currently sitting at 1,173,784, up 2.1% year-on-year
h of 2.9%. In addition, the fall in retail sales is proof that both employees and Opportunities are rife for employees and jobseekers at present, as employers continue to seek out quality candidates during a time of political and economic uncertainty. The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) recently reported a drop in confidence among members for the first time since the aftermath of the EU referendum in June last year. Around 52% of small firms found the UK’s economic slowdown as a barrier to growth, including rising inflation and a fall in consumer spending.
However, larger companies such as Jaguar Land Rover are investing in expanding their workforce by hiring 5,000 staff members over the next 12 months. With Brexit negotiations taking shape, such endorsements by big businesses are key to boosting the UK economy and expanding the talent pool.
Table 1: Total advertised vacancies and UK salary
|Annual change from May 2016|
|Jobseekers per Vacancy||0.43||0.44||2.3%||-17.3%|
|Av. Advertised UK Salary||£32,743||£32,678||0.2%||-1%|
Doug Monro, co-founder of Adzuna, explained, “The fact that salary growth is making progress on a month-on-month basis as well over a six-month period, shows the gap between wage growth and inflation may, slowly but surely, be closing. Although wage growth is nowhere near the desired pace, salaries are well and truly on the up. Despite the temporary economic lull having wider effects such as falling retail sales and flat-lining levels of home ownership, jobseekers and employees actually have more opportunities available now than ever.
“Brexit negotiations will take some time as plans to strike the best possible deal remain up in the air, but it is encouraging to see the Government stressing how jobs and living standards must come first during Phillip Hammond’s recent speech at Mansion House. A strong labour market in the UK is the backbone to a productive and resilient post-Brexit economy. A pro-migration strategy is an essential part of Brexit negotiations for every sector of the British employment market. The flow of talented and skilled workers from the EU not only strengthens our labour force, but represents an investment in our future by helping us keep up with innovative ideas.”
According to Adzuna data, maintenance jobs for those expected to keep mechanical equipment, machines or buildings in top working condition have been listed as one of the worst-performing sectors in terms of annual wage changes. With the rise of artificial intelligence and automation set to take over from manual labour and traditional ways of working in the future, maintenance jobs are just as crucial as ever. Maintenance jobs are occasionally overlooked, but being able to operate, clean and inspect heavy machinery, as well as repair and replace defective parts is a valuable skillset, brought into even sharper focus by recent events.
The future safety and functionality of artificial intelligence and automation lies in those working at ground level, servicing and improving systems. According to Adzuna’s recent White Paper entitled “The Start of The Curve”, findings show 13 of the 20 steepest declining job roles have faltered due to the effects of automation. Therefore, maintenance jobs deserve more attention and improved pay packages. Among the other worst performers are consultancy jobs as advertised salaries currently sit at £35,839 down 26.9% year-on-year with total vacancies at 20,520.
Monro commented, “There can be a stigma attached to maintenance jobs due to their physically intensive nature, and the decline in salaries year-on-year places them among the worst-performing jobs. However, Adzuna data shows that maintenance jobs are in fact complementary to the rise of artificial intelligence and automation. The rise of the robots is all well and good, but we will still need humans on hand to ensure automated equipment is working as it should be. Maintenance jobs should be given better recognition as skills at all levels are necessary if we are to reap the benefits of a high-tech, productive and efficient post-Brexit economy.”
Table 2: Worst-performing jobs sectors in the UK – annual salaries
|Job Sector||Average salary||Salary % 12 Month Change||Total Vacancies|
|Domestic help & Cleaning Jobs||£23,802||-13.5%||3,682|
|Social work Jobs||£26,073||-11.4%||23,459|
Warrington has risen through the ranks to become one of the best places in the UK to get a job, rising to fifth from seventh last month, with competition per job vacancy resting at 0.14. It is the first time a Northern town has broached the top five in several years and breaks the stranglehold that the likes of Cambridge, Guildford and Oxford have enjoyed. Warrington’s presence in this esteemed company may not be short-lived either, with Amazon to create 1,2000 new permanent jobs in the Cheshire town.
Monro said, “It’s good to see healthy competition among cities and regions across the country and Warrington has been steadily becoming an ever more attractive place to find employment. It’s not only the first new area to break the established top five for some time, but also the first from the North of England. A blue-chip company like Amazon investing in the area not only creates job opportunities and stimulates the local economy, but also encourages other large players to follow suit. Situated slap bang between Liverpool and Manchester, it may start attracting job seekers away from these established hubs.”
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