New salaries in Northern Ireland on the up
NORTHERN Ireland is the only part of the UK to have seen salaries for new jobs increase in the past year.
The latest UK Job Market Report from recruitment site Adzuna paints a grim picture for job-seekers in Britain, with advertised salaries taking a battering over the past 12 months.
The report suggested uncertainty over the prospect of a UK exit from the European Union was impacting upon the hiring intentions of businesses.
But the north bucked that particular trend with salaries advertised with new positions rising 1.3 per cent over the past year to £30,116 on average.
Scotland experienced the greatest decline with the average salary down 4.5 per cent to £31,615.
However, new salaries in Northern Ireland remain well below the £33,815 average across the UK as a whole.
And Belfast is still rated as one of the worst places to seek work according to Adzuna - with the 2.67 job-seekers per job putting it fourth on the list.
Adzuna co-founder Doug Monro said the good news for Northern Ireland followed a more difficult period.
"Northern Ireland is the only region to defy the downward trend in advertised salaries," he said.
"The manufacturing industry in particular has suffered in the region – job losses have quickly overwhelmed the sector. But the latest figures show that companies may now be prepared to pay for new recruits and to invest in new staff," he said.
"Employers in Scotland are more reluctant to hire than other UK regions. Recent difficulties within the flailing oil and gas sector are largely to blame. Employers in Scotland are also nervous about potentially leaving the EU and how this will impact the national political arena," he added.
Across the UK, Adzuna said there were 1,160,058 available vacancies in March , up 3.9 per cent on the previous Month.
It said some sectors could be delaying hiring intentions because of the introduction of the new national living wage and the EU referendum.
Retail and manufacturing industries in particular saw vacancies fall, it found.
Mr Monro added: “It's a time of turbulence for the jobs market. Unemployment is climbing and political uncertainty could well be impacting hiring plans. In particular, recent reports indicate hiring permanent staff may be being put on pause until after the EU referendum as employers turn to temporary workers to fill gaps. Predictions of risks to jobs and the economy show how vulnerable the employment sector can be to wider economic change.
“The new national living wage also poses a natural challenge to the status quo. Nerves about bigger wage bills could mean staff perks will be first to go to fund company's extra costs. These reports are already flowing in, with overtime pay already taking a hit. April's legislation is a crucial step to getting fair pay for existing workers."