By Daniel Hunter
The 'Class of 2015' graduates will have significantly more jobs opportunities than last year's university leavers, according to job website Adzuna.co.uk.
Adzuna said there were 15,825 graduate-specific jobs advertised in May, up 16.3% from last year.
This has contributed to the simultaneous rise in the total number of advertised positions across the UK. Last month saw 1,058,425 available advertised positions, 2.4% above the 1,033,435 recorded in April and 29.3% above the 818,471 recorded in May 2014.
But the boom in entry level roles, combined with more lower-paid and part-time positions, also helped push down advertised salaries 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.
In a significant post-recession shift, workers may currently be better off staying in their positions and negotiating a pay-rise, rather than switching companies. While Adzuna data on advertised salaries is showing stagnation, the most recent ONS Labour Market Statistics report increasing wage packets — suggesting that 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.”