LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s jobs market is showing more signs of cooling with online vacancies and pay offers falling, according to data from job search website Adzuna which will be noted by the Bank of England before this week’s interest rate decision.
Online job adverts fell by 1.6% in September from August, bucking the usual end-of-summer bounce in job postings, and advertised salaries fell by the same amount, Adzuna said.
“September traditionally sees a surge in job market activity but the figures we’re seeing this year could signal a cooling off of the job market, which had shown signs of resilience earlier in the year,” Adzuna co-founder Andrew Hunter said.
The BoE, which is widely expected to leave interest rates at their 15-year high of 5.25% on Thursday, is trying to gauge how much inflationary heat remains in the jobs market. Its task has been complicated by problems at Britain’s official statistics office in conducting its surveys of the workforce.
The Office for National Statistics said earlier this month its measure of job vacancies fell to a two-year low of 988,000 in the three months to September.
Separately on Monday, a survey showed small businesses recovering a bit of their lost confidence but the overall mood remained negative.
The headline confidence reading published by the Federation of Small Businesses rose to -8.0 in the three months to the end of September from -14.2 in the second quarter but remained below -2.8 recorded in the first quarter.
Hospitality firms were the most pessimistic, followed by retailer and wholesalers and construction. Only professional, scientific and technical firms had a positive outlook among significant sectors, the FSB said.
Martin McTague, FSB’s national chair, said the survey showed signs of stabilisation after 18 months of surging costs.
“The improvement in the overall confidence measure since Q2 is a good start, but we really want to see it firmly back in positive territory, rather than eight points below zero, as it is currently,” McTague said.
(Reporting by Suban Abdulla; Editing by William Schomberg and Andy Bruce)