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Brexit Anxiety Hits the UK Job Market as Advertised Salaries Slump


Average UK advertised salaries have dropped month-on-month for the third consecutive month, as employers show signs of concern over the impact of a no-deal Brexit, according to

In contrast to the growth and optimism around wages seen in early 2018, average rates of pay have fallen for the last three months in a row. The average advertised salary in the UK fell over 2% between June and August 2018, a worrying sign that employer optimism is dwindling.

In line with signs of salary stagnation, UK vacancy counts have also seen a slide in recent times, with a drop of 7.2% in full time advertised jobs between August 2017 and August 2018.

But it’s not all doom and gloom, competition for available roles has fallen to 0.37 jobseekers per vacancy, dropping below last month’s historic record to set a new all time low for job competition.

Andrew Hunter, co-founder of Adzuna, explains:

“Despite positive noises from the labour market in the first half of 2018, this latest data suggests a summer slow down in the UK job market and clear salary stagnation across the country. Britain’s biggest employers are nervous, anxious and looking for answers around Brexit. If this uncertainty continues into late 2018, it’s very hard to see how rates of pay and hiring will improve and return to growth in the short term.”

Table 1: Total advertised vacancies and salaries

July 2018 June 2018 Monthly


Annual change from July 2017
UK Vacancies 1,143,386 1,141,773 0.1% -7.2%
Jobseekers per Vacancy 0.37 0.38 2.6% -11.1%
Av. Advertised UK Salary £33,563 £33,762 -0.6% +4.2%

Regional breakdown

For the first time in recorded history, a five-way tie exists for the best location in the UK for jobseekers to find work.

Cambridge, Oxford, Warrington, Reading and Swindon share the top spot in the table of best places to look for work, each of these locations boasts more than 15 job opportunities for every jobseeker in the area.

At the other end of the scale, Sunderland, Hull and Salford were the toughest places to find work in across the nation, with several candidates fighting it out for every available role.

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

Job sector Average salary Salary %
12 Month Change
Total vacancies
Travel Jobs £28,202 10.3% 8,842
Creative & Design Jobs £34,892 9.6% 2,768
Charity & Voluntary Jobs £29,220 7.5% 5,490
Legal Jobs £42,613 5.6% 27,068
Consultancy Jobs £37,342 5.6% 39,396


Table 3: Worst-performing job sectors in the UK – annual salaries

Job sector Average salary Salary %
12 Month Change
Total vacancies
Graduate Jobs £21,146 -13.5% 6,957
Trade & Construction Jobs £36,438 -4.5% 40,179
Logistics & Warehouse Jobs £23,960 -4.3% 78,193
Scientific & QA Jobs £38,026 -3.8% 53,374
Property Jobs £30,824 -1.9% 15,022

Charity Jobs are big business

Salaries in the charity sector saw the 3rd highest increases in average advertised earnings across all industries in July. With pay promises up 7.5% year-on-year to £29,220, things are looking up for the philanthropic workers of the UK.

Property Jobs need maintenance work

Salaries in the property sector averaged £30,824 in July 2018, entering the table of declining salaries in 5th place, with a 1.9% drop from 2017 levels. There were 15,022 roles advertised in the property sector last month.


Chris is a digital marketing and publishing whizz by trade, having worked alongside the Automotive, Information Security and Software Asset Management sectors.

Specialising in data analysis and social media, he combines an analytical approach with a creative flair to achieve the best results. With a keen interest in Technology and Politics, Chris is constantly on the look-out for the latest stories around change and innovation.

As a lover of all things innovative, he has developed a keen eye for spotting the latest trends and hot topics. He sources and reads the latest news and thought-leadership articles from the world of recruitment before sharing them with the social media population.


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