Labour market

Fall in job vacancies lifts expectations of rate cut

Construction, housebuilding
Construction job vacancies fell last month (pic: Terry Murden)

Advertised job vacancies fell again last month in a further sign of a slowing labour market that could encourage the Bank of England to cut the cost of borrowing.

Jobs search engine Adzuna said 862,294 vacancies were advertised last month, down 0.46% month on month and by 17.41% over the year.

There are now 1.87 jobseekers per vacancy, the highest since August 2021 and up from the 1.49 level recorded in 2023.

Vacancies peaked at more than a million in 2022, giving potential recruits more power to negotiate higher pay deals, which in turn has contributed to rising inflation.

Trade & Construction vacancies were among the sectors that suffered the biggest fall, down by 8.24% according to the latest figures.

Andrew Hunter, co-founder of Adzuna, said the labour market was becoming a “difficult” environment for jobseekers.

“Vacancies have fallen again in March, unemployment is up and competition for open roles is intensifying across most sectors,” he said. “Adzuna’s data, collected month-to-date in April, suggests no clear signs of a hiring recovery just yet.”

Adzuna also found there had been a near-3% increase in advertised salaries over the past year and a 0.41% leap between February and March, and 2.95% over the year, lifting the average earnings on listed job postings to £38,638.

Mr Hunter said moderate earnings growth “will likely embolden the Bank of England’s monetary policy committee to begin cutting interest rates this summer”.

The Bank of England’s monetary policy committee makes its next decision on 9 May when rates are expected to remain unchanged. A first cut is pencilled in for June.

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