2015’s graduates have 16% more jobs to choose from

2015’s graduates have 16% more jobs to choose from

Graduates in 2015 will have more jobs to choose from than last year’s university leavers, helping to lift the number of total available vacancies to a new post-recession record.

The latest UK Job Market Report from Adzuna found there were 15,825 graduate-specific advertised vacancies in May 2015, up 16% on a year ago.

Adzuna said this has contributed to the simultaneous rise in the total number of advertised positions across the UK. According to Adzuna, last month saw 1,058,425 available advertised positions, two per cent above the 1,033,435 recorded in April and 29% above the 818,471 recorded in May 2014.

However, the growth in entry-level roles, combined with more lower-paid and part-time positions, have contributed to a fall in advertised salaries, which have fallen to a ten-month low. May saw advertised salaries fall 0.8% month-on-month to £34,002, following on from dips of 0.7% in April and 0.3% in March in the third consecutive month of average advertised salary reductions. Compared to the average of £34,549 six months before, May’s advertised salaries were 1.6% lower on average.

Adzuna said workers may currently be better off staying in their positions and negotiating a pay rise, rather than switching companies. While Adzuna’s data on advertised salaries showed stagnation, the most recent ONS Labour Market Statistics reported increasing wage packets, suggesting companies are spending more on their existing employees and less on attracting experienced workers.

Andrew Hunter, co-founder of Adzuna, said: “A wave of freshly-minted graduates are about to join the jobs market, and the number of vacancies has risen, affording them more opportunities. Employers are clearly keen to build their junior staff.

“It’s a sign that British businesses are gearing up for the future – we’re moving beyond the short-term firefighting tactics of the early recovery and into steady investment in our future talent.

“Of course, there is a knock-on effect on average advertised salaries. A surge in entry-level positions brings with it a lower average advertised salary for May. But we can’t lay this salary shrinkage entirely at the door of a growth in junior employment. The drop in May’s advertised salaries brings us to three months of consecutive salary reduction, which also reflects a shift to more lower-paid and part-time roles.

“Even with falling prices, which have made consumer goods more affordable in the short term, weakening wages mean people are unlikely to be feeling better off. This is somewhat mitigated by the fact that in-work salaries for existing employees are improving, but it’s still a worrying trend, and we need to keep a watchful eye on future developments.”

However, despite data pointing to a growing number of vacancies, competition for jobs will be fierce for graduates about to enter the world of work. Adzuna said it is over five times harder for graduates to get a foot on the first rung of the employment ladder than it is for the average UK employee to find a new job once in the world of work.

But, as employers compete for the best young talent, graduate salaries are strengthening. The average advertised salary for a graduate position was £25,129 in May 2015, down 0.9% from the £25,369 advertised in April, but 2.8% higher than the £24,439 average recorded in May last year.

Hunter added: “The road ahead might look tough for UK graduates, but they’re actually better off than last year’s cohort in terms of range of opportunities, salaries, and competition. Ever-hungry for talent, London is pulling in graduates even faster than it can create vacancies, driving up competition for jobs to daunting heights.

“The class of 2015 are following in the footsteps of the graduates that faced the recession, marching out into the cold to take their chances. The situation is sunnier for this year’s graduates, but they can still learn from the lessons of their recession-toughened counterparts: it’s important to gain experience wherever possible as a fresh graduate.”

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

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