Salary levels for new jobs have fallen below 2009 figures

Salary offers for new jobs have fallen below 2009 levels, but demand for job opportunities remains steady, latest figures show.

The Reed Job Index, published today, revealed the number of new job opportunities matched March’s level, giving an index reading of 102.

But the average pay packet on offer in April was 4% lower than this year’s high point in February and slipped below last year’s level to give a salary index reading of 99.

The Reed Job Index, based on data from the UK’s largest job board, tracks the number of new job opportunities on offer compared to the previous month and against a baseline of 100 set in December last year.

According to the latest report, demand for general insurance, financial services and leisure and tourism staff rose to their highest level since the index was created last year.

However, salary offers did not rise in line with job demand last month. Average salary offers were 5% below December’s level for both general insurance and financial services staff, and remained level for leisure and tourism staff.

Meanwhile, job demand in East Anglia, north-east England, the South East and Scotland remained above last year’s levels, but fell back in London, dropping for the first time below last year’s levels to record a job index reading of 99.

Martin Warnes, managing director of Reed.co.uk, said the index demonstrated more signs of “nervousness than confidence”.

“Salaries are trending downwards, even in areas where demand for staff seems particularly buoyant, and demand for workers in London has dropped below last year’s levels for the first time since the index began,” he said.

Labour MP Yvette Cooper said: “This shows how vital it is to keep up support for jobs and the economy this year until the recovery is secure. Unemployment is around half a million lower than experts predicted last year but many people are still having a hard time as a result of the recession, and we are not out of the woods yet.”

Warnes added that employers appeared to be waiting to see the outcome of the general election to factor the result into their forward plans for jobs.


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