By Daniel Hunter

The number of job vacancies has overtaken the number of job seekers for the first time since the recession, according to the latest UK Job Market Report from Adzuna.co.uk.

Competition for jobs passed a milestone in October 2014 as the number of jobseekers finally fell below the number of advertised vacancies — with 887,771 jobseekers compared to 936,596 advertised vacancies. This equals a ratio of just 0.95 jobseekers per vacancy, down from 1.02 in September. Competition for jobs has fallen from a ratio of 1.69 in a year.

Total advertised vacancies increased 25.1% in October, hitting 936,596 available positions. This comprehensively beat the previous post-recession high of 906,191 set in September, representing a monthly increase of 3.4%.

Advertised salaries increased 4.3% year-on-year in October to £34,670, outstripping a low Consumer Prices Index inflation rate (1.3%) to provide the UK with its first taste of respectable real wage growth since before the recession. This is the third consecutive month in which annual salary growth has kept its leading margin on CPI; in real terms, advertised salaries have gone up by £997 over the year to October.

Andrew Hunter, co-founder of Adzuna, said: “For the first time in six years, the number of jobs on offer has eclipsed the number of people looking for work. Job applicants are in a much stronger position than they were a year ago — as employers offer higher salaries in the hope of attracting the very best talent. Over half a million fewer people are unemployed than a year ago. It might feel like a rare planetary alignment to those who started out their careers in the midst of a global recession, but annual salary growth maintaining a lead on inflation for three months on the trot is an excellent sign.

“But even though the recovery is rocketing forward, it’s important to keep our feet firmly planted on the ground. The increase in job vacancies is aided in part by a natural swell as the festive season approaches. Nevertheless, the upturn in temporary seasonal jobs is to be welcomed with open arms as it paves the way for real wages to reach the people that need it most in time for Christmas.”

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