As the next wave of freshers take on university this week, many of them will now begin to contemplate life after education – including prospective career paths.
But they will be eyeing up an abnormal job market. The shadows of furlough schemes and Brexit have twisted regular supply and demand trends across various industries. While average salaries in the UK have grown by 4pc over the past year to £35,878, new research shows that it has been propped up by pandemic effects that will not last.
So which jobs provide salaries on upwards trajectories? Telegraph Money has broken down data from jobs website Adzuna to find out.
The reliable risers: IT and property
Matt Weston of the recruitment agency Robert Half said: “The jobs market is flying at the moment. The demand for people is far higher than supply – and now we’ve got a war for talent.”
That has been most evident in the property industry – which for the past year and a half has been boosted by record low interest rates and a stamp duty holiday. Salaries in this sector grew by the fastest in the period from August 2019 to August 2021, up by 15pc.
Meanwhile, IT industry salaries jumped by 9pc and Mr Weston said that growth was likely to continue.
“With cloud computing and artificial intelligence, it is clear that the tech industry is a booming market for job seekers. There are so many opportunities,” he said.
Wage growth here is already climbing at pace: the average salary for software developers has shot up 16pc to £60,751, from 2019 to 2021.
Mr Weston also pointed to continued demand in the finance and accounting industries, where salaries have grown by 7pc, Adzuma data showed. “Their services are critical to business performance. It is at the heart of everything, and there is always so much work to be done,” he said.
The worker drought: trade, construction and hospitality
The twin effects of Brexit and the pandemic has caused a huge outflow of overseas workers from the UK – although it is difficult to say whether wage growth here is permanent.
Andrew Hunter, of Adzuna, said salaries were boosted by new incentives like signing bonuses to compete for job seekers. The online shopping giant Amazon, for example, now offers a £1,000 signing bonus to new warehouse employees. Workers in this category alone saw their advertised salaries jump up 14pc to £20,794.
“Sectors like trade & construction and hospitality & catering are struggling to fill open roles,” he said. Salaries in those industries rose by 10 and 9pc respectively.
Meanwhile, the average advertised salary on offer for lorry drivers grew 11pc to £28,514.
Does the market want junior or senior workers?
The pandemic has caused employers to focus on hiring for more senior roles, often freezing hiring for entry-level jobs, according to Adzuna. It was their bigger salary packages that largely drove national wage growth last year.
But graduate jobs across the market posted the second largest increase of 13pc in average advertised salary in 2021, up 13pc.
Mr Hunter said that it signaled employers were becoming more confident. “Companies are thinking of the future by training junior staff,” he said.
Where salaries are dropping
Overall, earnings grew by around 4pc in the 2019 to 2021 period. But the biggest salary drops were in the maintenance, manufacturing and admin industries, where wages declined by 9pc, 14pc and 20pc respectively.