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Job vacancies plummet, pressuring Bank to reduce rates

The fastest decrease in job opportunities since the epidemic peak may pressure the Bank of England to lower rates shortly.

Last month, Adzuna, the job search engine, reported 929,138 available positions, a 6.95% decrease from June 2020.

The report notes that preliminary data suggests a further decline of 6 to 8% in January.

These figures emerge before Thursday’s Bank of England’s interest rate decision.

While interest rates are expected to hold at 5.25%, signs of a tightening labour market and a sharper-than-expected drop in inflation may prompt calls for lower borrowing costs.

Adzuna observed the highest job competition since September 2021, with 1.68 applicants per vacancy.

Significant advertised roles were reduced in retail, manufacturing, and hospitality, whereas teaching increased.

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The average advertised salary rose by 0.96%, reaching £37,577. Adzuna’s co-founder Andrew Hunter commented, “December data shows a 7% decline in roles from November and a 13% drop from the same time in 2022.” Further declines in employment are expected before recovery.

Director of the Institute for Employment Studies, Tony Wilson, said, “Hiring is slowing, but these figures suggest little if any pickup in new year activity.”

Post-holiday recruitment spikes are typical but not evident this year.

Separately, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) reported decreased private sector activity in the three months leading up to January, continuing a 15-month trend of stagnation or decline. CBI chief economist Alpesh Paleja remarked, “The economy seems set to stagnate at best in the near term.”

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