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Jobseekers enjoy 10-month competition low as vacancies recover

Jobseekers were spoilt for choice in September as the jobs market reignited after its post-Brexit pause for breath, according to the latest UK Job Market Report from Adzuna.co.uk.

Company Profile


  • Total advertised vacancies increased 0.8% to 1,132,844 in September after slipping in August
  • Competition for jobs falls to 10-month low, opening up more opportunities as job seekers per vacancy currently stand at 0.47
  • Welsh salaries have defied national trend with average wages up 0.3% to £28,967 as other regions have faltered
  • The property sector has proven to be the most resilient with average salaries up 7.9% and 12,075 vacancies open to jobseekers; defying pre-Brexit expectations
  • Charity and voluntary sectors are also on the rise with average salaries up 3.2% to £27,267, outstripping the traditionally lucrative IT sector

Job seekers were spoilt for choice in September as the jobs market reignited after its post-Brexit pause for breath, according to the latest UK Job Market Report from Adzuna.co.uk.    

In comparison to August’s figures, total advertised vacancies increased 0.8% to 1,132,844 in September. With confidence beginning to return as Brexit plans are starting to take shape, the jobs market seems to be remaining resilient despite concerns that the EU referendum result would have more of a negative impact.

The employment rate has held steady at 74.5%, its joint record highest level since comparable records started in 1971, according to the ONS. Despite a slight increase in unemployment figures at the same time, the increase in average advertised vacancies, the rise in self-employment and part-time vacancies are all underpinning a thriving, healthy workforce.

The number of jobseekers per vacancy has seen a slight fall to 0.47 after plateauing at 0.49. Coinciding with the rise in total advertised vacancies, more opportunities have opened up for job seekers to explore new opportunities or take their first steps into the world of employment.

Table 1: UK Vacancies, job seekers per vacancies and advertised UK salary


 August 2016

September 2016



Annual change from September 2015

UK Vacancies





Jobseekers per Vacancy





Av. Advertised UK Salary






Doug Monro, co-founder of Adzuna, comments: Jobseekers looking to move into a new role or those that are fresh to the jobs market hold all the aces at present. Many predicted that Brexit would deflate the jobs market, but the opposite, in fact, has occurred. September’s figures represent a bouncing back from the momentous EU referendum result and renewed consumer and employer confidence.

“Despite this, average advertised salaries have fallen slightly this month despite the wide-reaching talent pool of highly skilled workers available. There is a demand for employers to compensate highly skilled workers accordingly. The upcoming Autumn Statement is fast approaching which would be a positive opportunity to boost wage growth. Overall the results remain positive though and it is important to remain open-minded to change as Brexit plans will not be finalised until Spring 2017.”

The Welsh dragon roars back

Average salaries in Wales have risen by 0.3% in the past year, while all other regions witnessed decreases. Total vacancies in the country number 20,893 and the average salary now stands at £28,967. The recently announced Welsh budget of £14.9bn includes an extra £240m for the NHS and £111m for apprenticeships and traineeships, providing an economic boost and every reason to feel optimistic about future potential in the country. Current schemes such as the £223m Head of the Valleys road widening project and the recent beginning of a new £40m retail park in Merthyr will not only enhance the country’s infrastructure and amenities but also boost the local economy and create jobs.      

Doug Monro, co-founder of Adzuna, comments: “It is clear from these figures that the Welsh jobs market has caught up to the rest of the UK. London and the South East will always be an attractive proposition for many and we’ve heard plenty about the Northern powerhouse, but the Welsh dragon has well and truly roared back to life of late. Wales has not only benefitted from the fact the wider British economy has held firm in the wake of the Brexit decision, but also has its own sound fundamentals too.”

Property sector defies pre-Brexit expectations

With fears rife that house prices and transactions would decline off the back of the Brexit decision, it was almost inevitable that vacancies and salaries within the property sector were expected to fracture. However, the property sector has in fact seen an increase of 7.9% in average salaries which now stand at £32,900. This has been supported by the fact 12,075 vacancies are available to job seekers looking to pursue a career in this industry. This is partly because the housing market has now settled down following the surprise of the outcome of the EU referendum.

Another sector that has seen significant salary increases is the charity and voluntary sector. There has been a substantial increase in the number of advertised vacancies since Adzuna started collecting data in 2012 – almost doubling from 4,944 in 2012 to 8,344 vacancies in 2016. Furthermore, average salaries have risen 3.2% to £27,267 from September 2015. Anecdotal evidence suggests there are now almost 200,000 charities in the UK, presenting a wealth of opportunities.

Table 2: Average advertised vacancies and salaries within the Property sector


September 2016

September 2015

Annual change from September 2015

Total Advertised

Vacancies – Property




Average  Advertised

Salaries – Property





Doug Monro, co-founder of Adzuna, explains: “It is clear that many predictions made pre-Brexit have been proven wrong. The relative resilience of the jobs market should be a positive indicator to employers that it always pays to invest in hiring and rewarding high-quality staff. The property sector is a prime example of how the jobs market has the potential to withstand surprises that may arise as a result of an uncertain political climate.

“With an increasing number of vacancies, the charity and voluntary sector is bursting with potential for graduates and those in other industries seeking a more altruistic career path. In the past, it may have been a choice between a financially lucrative role and one that offered more job satisfaction, but with salaries on the rise in the third sector it is no longer so cut and dried.”  

North-South divide still evident in the jobs market

Cambridge remains the best city in the UK to find a job, with 0.06 job seekers per advertised vacancy. Guildford, Oxford, Reading and Winchester round out the top five, proving that the South of England is the place to be for those seeking a new opportunity.

The worst city in the UK to secure a job continues to be Belfast despite job seekers per advertised vacancy falling to 4.18, in comparison to 5.42 in August. Competition for jobs may partly be so high because of the paucity of average advertised vacancies (currently standing at just 5,135). Sunderland follows close behind in the second position, with 3.07 jobseekers per vacancy.

Doug Monro, co-founder of Adzuna, explains: “Despite the consistent north-south divide in terms of competition for job vacancies across the UK, these figures are not set in stone as Brexit has opened up new opportunities for this to change over time.

“For example, Sunderland currently stands as the second worst city to find a job, but recent developments emanating from the Nissan plant there could change this. The Japanese car giant   recently announced that it will build two car models – the new Qashqai and the X-Trail SUV – at its North East base, resulting in the securing of 7,000 roles. Nissan cited to support and assurances from the UK government as crucial to its decision and other companies following suit will inject similar boosts of confidence into the regions they operate in and help the Northern powerhouse regain its strength.”