Surge in overall job vacancies, but consultancy sector bears Brexit brunt

461The number of advertised job vacancies in the UK increased by 2.6 percent to 1,162,342 in October, and according to the latest UK Job Market Report from Adzuna.co.uk, with Christmas on the horizon, employers will be seeking to hire an array of temporary jobseekers to meet a rise in demand. A rise in total advertised vacancies has also been fuelled by employers’ plans to expand and refresh their teams to capitalise on jobseekers intending to make a fresh start or change in career path in the first few months of 2017. However, 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 percent. 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. This also highlights the importance of employers widening their talent pool and attracting highly skilled workers.

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.”

The report also reveals that Northern Ireland has become one of two regional powerhouses alongside Wales (+2.9 percent) in terms of salaries, experiencing a 0.2 percent annual uplift to £28,553. At the other end of the scale, wages in Eastern England fell 1.6 percent 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 percent 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.

However, in terms of wages across the UK, 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, adds: “Despite the increase in the National Living Wage from £7.20 to £7.50 announced in the Autumn Statement and 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.”

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