Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

Growth in vacancies surges in October

Total advertised vacancies soared 2.6% in October to 1,162,342 in comparison to 1,132,844 in September, according to the latest UK Job Market Report from

  • Total advertised vacancies increased 2.6% to 1,162,342 in October in comparison to 1,132,844 in September
  • Average salaries in the retail sector surprisingly declined by 8.8% ahead of the Christmas rush
  • Healthcare & Nursing climbs the ranks to become one of the most well-performing sectors with average salaries up 5.9% to £36,284
  • The consultancy sector has suffered salary slowdown with advertised wages falling 8.7% on an annual basis
  • Salaries in Northern Ireland up 0.2% to £28,553, becoming one of only two regions to experience growth as IFS issues wage warning

Total advertised vacancies soared 2.6% in October to 1,162,342 in comparison to 1,132,844 in September, according to the latest UK Job Market Report from     

With Christmas on the horizon, employers are looking to hire an array of temporary jobseekers who can quickly fulfil and adapt to job roles to meet this rise in demand. This highlights that the UK jobs market continues to prove its resilient nature, bouncing back with multiple opportunities for jobseekers

In addition, with the New Year fast approaching, the rise in total advertised vacancies has also been fuelled by employers creating new vacancies to expand and refresh their teams to capitalise on jobseekers gearing up to make a fresh start or change in career path in the first few months of 2017.

Despite the rise in total advertised vacancies, average salaries within the retail sector are down 8.8% year-on-year despite total vacancies reaching 42,972. This is due to the surge in consumer spending around this period, causing an increase in demand for workers which leads to a decline in typical salaries as part-time wages lower the average. 

Table 1: UK Vacancies, jobseekers per vacancies and advertised UK salary


 September 2016

October 2016



Annual change from October 2015

UK Vacancies





Jobseekers per Vacancy





Av. Advertised UK Salary






Doug Monro, co-founder of Adzuna, comments: “Jobseekers and employees are at the forefront of government intentions as the key messages from the Autumn Statement highlight a new direction for the labour market that should work for everyone.
“The jobs market has opened up new, lucrative opportunities for jobseekers as the number of total vacancies is on the up and catering to a wider and diverse talent pool. Both self-employment and employment are on the rise.  
“Jobseekers looking to earn additional income, in particular graduates, can take advantage of the Christmas seasonality at a time when temporary and part-time roles become most accessible. Vacancies within the retail sector are especially attractive due to the flexibility and lower entry level requirements.”  

Healthcare & Nursing salaries on the mend

Healthcare & Nursing has outperformed sectors such as Creative & Design as well as jobs within the IT sector, with average salaries up 5.9% to £36,284. Despite the ongoing retention difficulties, the increase in salary may help to attract highly skilled jobseekers into healthcare professions as well as reward their efforts through fair and beneficial salary packages. However, the property sector remains the sector enjoying the biggest gains, with annual wage growth of 7.5%.

Doug Monro, co-founder of Adzuna, comments: “It is refreshing to see jobseekers and employees within the Healthcare & Nursing sector benefiting from a long overdue salary increase. This sector faces multiple challenges such as a shortage of skilled workers therefore, salary increases will ease the burden for those already working in the industry and those looking to pursue this rewarding career path. 

“Despite the sector flourishing, the NHS still needs to find £22bn in efficiency savings by 2021, so further job cuts and streamlining across England is inevitable. However, there are also private opportunities open to individuals following this vocation, so all is not lost.  Selfless jobseekers and employees within this sector are also just as likely to looking for job satisfaction and meaningful roles as they are salary remuneration.” 

Consultancy sector out in the cold

Despite the overall resilient nature of the jobs market, the consultancy sector appears to have taken the brunt of the implications of Brexit. As a result, average advertised salaries are currently down 8.7%. This suggests companies are withdrawing from placing as much reliance on temporary staff and freelancers and seeking expertise internally from senior employees who may be more familiar with the nature of the business and actually recruiting their own new full-time staff. This also highlights the importance of employers widening their talent pool and attracting highly skilled workers.

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


October 2016

October 2015

Annual change from October 2015

Average  Advertised Salaries – Consultancy





Doug Monro, co-founder of Adzuna, comments: “Wages in the consultancy sector have declined quite heavily on an annual basis. This is bittersweet for both employers and employees. On one hand, employers have gained increased confidence in the talent of their workforce and continue to utilise the power of internal communication. However, jobseekers seeking employment within this sector may struggle to obtain the remuneration they feel they are worth.”

Northern Ireland joins Wales in the salary improvement club

Northern Ireland has become one of two regional powerhouses alongside Wales (+2.9%) in terms of salaries, experiencing a 0.2% annual uplift to £28,553. At the other end of the scale, wages in Eastern England fell 1.6% over the same time period.

According to a new report by Catalyst Inc, the knowledge economy in Northern Ireland is the second fastest growing in the UK. The report adds that companies within this sector account for 30% of the UK’s total exports employing around 40,000 people. This opportunity highlights the post-Brexit opportunities that are available across the UK, placing Northern Ireland on the map for future business opportunities. 

The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) have warned workers could earn less in real wages in 2021 than they did in 2008, labelling the salary outlook for the next 10 years ‘dreadful’.

Doug Monro, co-founder of Adzuna comments: “Despite the increase in the National Living Wage from £7.20 to £7.50 announced in the Autumn Statement and Adzuna data showing marginal wage improvements in Northern Ireland and Wales, the report from the IFS suggests that salary stagnation may become the norm in the coming decade. Much lip service was paid to ‘just-about managing families’ in the Chancellor’s speech, but if salaries do indeed flatline in the next 10 years, then more people may found themselves slipping into that bracket and having to pinch the pennies.

“The jobs market has proved resilient in a number of ways and overall employment levels and vacancy figures give some sense of encouragement, but the salary situation is definitely one to keep a watching brief on.”