EU referendum: The five job sectors already feeling the Brexit squeeze

Lynsey Barber
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Vacancies are down in areas more exposed to Brexit

The number of job vacancies in the UK has fallen significantly and wage growth has slowed too - and it's the prospect of Brexit which is the most likely to blame.

“There are signs that caution is controlling the current UK jobs market and stalling the recovery. One possible explanation is that uncertainty around Brexit means hiring intentions have been paused," said Doug Monro of job search site Adzuna, which has released its latest figures on the state of the jobs market.

The total number of vacancies in February is down more than ten per cent over the last three months and up just 3.4 per cent on a monthly basis, signalling a slowdown on the average rise in 2014 and 2015 of 4.2 per cent.

Wages inched up just 0.6 per cent on the previous month, and the average salary now stood at £33,800. There was a slightly better improvement over the last three months, up 2.1 per cent, however salaries fell 2.4 per cent on the same period last year.

But it's the sectors which are most exposed to the European market which have bared the brunt - in particular, travel and retail.

"It’s an unsettling time for sectors who interact daily with the European markets and are particularly sensitive to developments there," said Monro. "This is why expectant seasonal dips in the travel industry have intensified and spiralled into much deeper reductions."

Where did vacancies fall the most?

Travel -42.9%

Retail -24.3%

Energy, oil and gas -18.4%

Manufacturing -16.9%

Logistics -14.5%

"For manufacturing firms, a potential Brexit could not have come at a worse time. The industry has been suffering from instability, with job cuts leaving both employers and employees nervous. For an industry trying to get back on its feet, talk of Brexit implications will be unhelpful.”

The number of vacancies fell across every region of the UK, with jobs in the south east falling the most, down 15.6 per cent, but London the least, down 6.8 per cent.

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