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Graduate pay took a hit in April, with the average advertised entry-level salary falling to £23,309

This year’s crop of graduates are facing lower pay and fewer positions as a wider slowdown in the jobs market holds back hiring, according to research from Adzuna.co.uk.

The latest Adzuna Job Market Report found that in April 12,850 vacancies were advertised for entry-level roles, 8% lower than the 15,305 positions on offer in April 2015. Graduate pay took a hit in April, with the average advertised entry-level salary falling to £23,309, which is the lowest amount on offer since October 2013 (£22,849).

April also saw UK starting pay drop to £33,462, the lowest on offer for four months since December 2015 (£33,332). On a monthly basis, average advertised salaries fell 1% from £33,815 in March. All regions except Northern Ireland witnessed a fall in average advertised salaries. For Scotland average salaries dropped to £31,537, which is also below the English and Welsh averages.

The creative and design sector was among the fastest risers when it came to average advertised salaries, climbing to £31,524 in April (up 4.7% from £30,115 the previous year). Domestic help and cleaning jobs led the way however, with a staggering 44.7% annual increase in average advertised salaries to £26,789, up from £18,516.

Doug Monro, co-founder of Adzuna, warned that salaries are struggling to kick-start properly as we leave spring and approach summer. “There were high hopes the start of the year would see strong salary growth but so far it’s looking unlikely,” he said.

He also commented on the rise in creative and design jobs, suggesting they are growing more important. “As the business environment becomes more competitive and global, branding is becoming even more important. And employers are placing more value on strong design skills and the creative abilities of potential employees. The sector isn’t known for being the best paid, but it is picking up. Employers are prepared to put a high price on creative spark”