Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

Vacancies at highest level since November 2015

Simultaneous five-month low in job competition creates ‘employment paradise’ for jobhunters

  • 1,179,586 vacancies – up 2% year-on-year and highest level since November 2015
  • Average salaries hit six-month high to sit at £32,678
  • Competition for jobseekers going for every vacancy has fallen to 0.44 – a 2017 low
  • A third of UK vacancies were impacted by the increase in National Living Wage – meanwhile less than 1% of open roles pay top salaries of over £100,000
  • Travel sector enjoying wage uptick – with average salaries up 2.4% to £25,865

The combination of high vacancies and low competition for jobs has created an ‘employment paradise’ for jobhunters, according to the latest UK Job Market Report from

The number of vacancies across the UK, now stands at its highest level since November 2015, with 1,179,586 openings currently advertised. With just 0.44 jobseekers for every vacancy, the current climate is favourable for jobseekers and employees looking to switch roles and explore alternative options within the labour market.  Salaries – now sitting at £32,678 – have also been showing signs of recovery, increasing month-on-month since the start of 2017, which suggests the previous decline in wage growth may have been a temporary lull.

While wage growth is picking up positive momentum, advertised wages still remain behind 2016 levels.  Indeed, a third of UK vacancies were impacted by recent increases in National Living Wage when it rose from £7.20 to £7.50 on April 1st.  Both Labour and the Conservatives have made pledges to increase the National Minimum Wage in their recently published manifestos. Admin (64%), catering (59%) and customer service (71%) are the sectors that the increase has affected most significantly.

Adzuna research shows that a third of all jobs in the UK are affected by minimum wage rises and almost twice as many North East vacancies (41%) are affected by such changes compared to the capital (22%). Wales (40%), the North West (39%), the East Midlands (39%) and South West England (39%) would also see a significant proportion of vacancies impacted.

At the other end of the scale, there are currently just 7,835 roles advertised on Adzuna offering top-end salaries over £100,000. This represents less than 1% of all vacancies.


April 2017

March 2017



Annual change from April 2016

UK Vacancies





Jobseekers per Vacancy





Av. Advertised UK Salary






Table 1: Total advertised vacancies and UK salary

Doug Monro, co-founder of Adzuna, explains: “With salaries up, vacancies at their highest levels in seven months, and fewer people competing for jobs, it’s an employment paradise for jobseekers.  This means less of a strain on disposable incomes as jobseekers and employees have more room to manoeuvre in terms of their purchasing power.

“However, with the General Election fast approaching, improvements in the labour market shouldn’t be taken as given just yet. Despite promising month-on-month wage growth, we still have a way to go to make up lost ground on advertised earnings.”

Travel sector wages hot up in preparation for sun-deprived Brits

According to Adzuna data, the travel sector was amongst the best-performing annual salary growth wise, rising by 2.4% to stand at £25,865, with 5,703 total vacancies.  Within the UK, VisitBritain’s forecasts that growth of the tourism industry is set to continue in 2017 with 38.8 million foreign visits to the UK and with spending reaching £23.9 billion.  According to the ONS Travel Trends: 2016, overseas residents spent £22.5 billion on visits to the UK in 2016, an increase of 2% compared with 2015.  Overseas tourism also continues to thrive, nudging wages upwards and generating revenue for the economy while creating more opportunities for jobseekers and employees within the sector.

Doug Monro, co-founder of Adzuna, comments: “It is encouraging to see an underrated sector such as travel rising through the ranks and become one of the best performers.  Different sectors thriving is crucial to creating shared wealth and developing a workforce with a variety of different skill sets taking the lead. The travel sector often sees an increase in advertised roles at this time of year but the uptick in wages compared to this time in 2016 may further incentivise jobseekers looking for flexible, customer-focused roles that reward those with strong communication and organisation skills and a friendly flair.”  

Job Sector

 Average salary

Salary % 12 Month Change

Total Vacancies

HR & Recruitment Jobs




Graduate Jobs




Travel Jobs




Property Jobs




Teaching Jobs




Table 2: Best-performing jobs sectors in the UK – annual salaries

Those that can, teach

According to Adzuna data, teaching jobs also enjoyed strong annual salary growth up 1.5% to £26,972 with high current vacancy levels of 57,039. At present, however, it appears to be increases in salaries offered by the private sector and pay for supply teachers that are driving overall growth in teaching wages.

Doug Monro, co-founder of Adzuna, comments: Our data ranks teaching jobs as one of the best performers in terms of salary growth, which is refreshing given recent budget cuts, changes to exams, and problems recruiting teachers. It is encouraging to see some teachers being rewarded for their hard work given the time pressures and financial constraints placed on the educational system and resources.  Sadly, however, it is predominantly the private sector and supply teaching roles driving this trend.