British Job Vacancies Hit 3-Year Low as Wage Growth Slows

In a recent report by recruitment data firm Adzuna, British job vacancies have seen a significant decline, with numbers falling by 15 percent year-on-year in January. This marks the lowest level of job advertisements in nearly three years, suggesting a cooling in the UK labour market.

Despite the economy experiencing a shallow recession in the latter half of the previous year, Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey has acknowledged the state of “full employment,” with an official jobless rate at 3.8 percent. The central bank, however, is aiming to decelerate wage growth, which has been over 6 percent, in an effort to alleviate inflationary pressures that continue to persist at double the bank’s target rate.

The reduction in job vacancies could indicate that employers are facing less difficulty in recruiting compared to the period following the COVID-19 pandemic when vacancies surged to over 1.3 million. According to Adzuna’s analysis of more than 1,000 online sources, there were 867,436 jobs advertised in Britain in January, a stark drop from the over 1 million listings seen a year prior.

Andrew Hunter, co-founder of Adzuna, commented on the challenging environment for job seekers at the start of 2024, noting that many companies have put their hiring plans on hold. The ratio of job seekers to advertised vacancies has increased to 1.81 from 1.48 a year earlier.

Despite this downturn, there is a glimmer of hope as preliminary data for February suggests that the number of job vacancies is beginning to stabilize. This follows previous data from the Office for National Statistics which indicated an 18 percent annual decrease in job vacancies for the three months leading up to the end of January.

Adzuna also reported that the average starting salary for positions advertised was £38,168 ($48,450), a 3.0 percent increase from the previous year. However, it’s important to note that this figure was only provided for just under half of the advertised positions.

As the UK navigates through these economic shifts, both employers and job seekers are adapting to the changing landscape of the labour market. For more detailed updates and news, readers can follow Cyprus Mail on Google News.

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