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Job Vacancies up 7.6% as "UK Labour Market Strengthens" say CV Library

- Businesses are continuing to drive their recruitment efforts this spring

- Yet, businesses still reluctant to move the dial on pay rates

- Findings ultimately supportive of Bank of England view that labour market will continue to improve in 2018

UK employment insights

The UK's third-largest job-seekers portal has confirmed a pickup in labour market activity in March 2018; findings that will provide welcome news in light of recent weather-inspired deterioration in other sectors of the economy.

CV-Library report that "businesses are looking to freshen up their workforce this spring, with job vacancies increasing by 7.6% across the UK last month."

CV-Library compared data from March 2018, with February 2018 and explored fluctuations in pay, jobs and applications throughout March and the findings suggest that businesses across the nation were feeling confident last month.

Job application rates also rose last month, increasing by 1.4% when compared with data from February 2018.

The findings as the UK economy reels from a weather-inspired slowdown in March with PMI data from IHS Markit showing the construction sector actually contracted while the all-important services sector hardly grew at all.

But, signs of underlying optimism in the jobs market point to a strong comeback this spring, something that will be welcomed by the Bank of England which is tipped to raise interest rates again in May. Markets are placing a +60% chance of a rate rise occurring, a move largely predicated on the view that wages are rising at a rate that could threaten to push inflation higher.

But, the findings from CV-Library suggest a surge in pay is yet to materialise with advertised salaries seeing a slight decrease of 0.3% in March, despite businesses showing an appetite for more staff.

Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library, warns that the current situation that sees a growing appetite for fresh skills and an expanded workforce at businesses, which are at the same time reluctant to move the dial on pay, is unsustainable.

"As we approach the second quarter of 2018 we hope to see this confidence continue on both sides, though businesses should consider offering more competitive pay packets if they wish to see candidate appetite strengthen even further this year,” says Biggins.

Cv-Library report advertised jobs in some of the UK’s key cities said to have witnessed stand out growth in March.

The top cities for job growth include:

Aberdeen – jobs up 18.4%
Liverpool – jobs up 14.8%
Sheffield – jobs up 14.8%
Glasgow – jobs up 12.3%
Cardiff – jobs up 11.2%
Hull – jobs up 11%
Portsmouth – jobs up 10.8%
Bristol – jobs up 10.5%
Manchester – jobs up 10.5%
London - jobs up 9.1%

Some of the UK’s leading industries also saw strong job growth last month, with education (17.5%), catering (17.1%), retail (15.7%), legal (13.6%) and marketing (11.3%) vacancies all rising in March.

“It’s positive to see that businesses are continuing to drive their recruitment efforts this spring, following a strong start to the year. What’s more, the increase in vacancies can be seen across a number of key UK cities and industries, suggesting that business confidence is nationwide,” says Biggins.