Job growth has slowed since the beginning of the year with the retail industry suffering the biggest decline, according to new figures published by UK job site Reed.
The Reed Job Index shows the slowest growth rate for new job postings since it began in January 2010.
The index was at 288 for April this year, down from 294 in March and down one index point from this time last year.
By sector, figures show a more in-depth picture of the job market, with the number of retail jobs having decreased by over 30%.
The figures would have been influenced by the number of high street retailers entering administration and implementing store closures since the turn of the year.
James Reed, chairman, said: “The latest Reed Job Index data shows that the jobs market has slowed dramatically since the beginning of the year. It’s possible that seasonality has led to a disjointed period for UK businesses. As Easter fell earlier in 2018, it’s likely that holidays will have impacted growth, reflected in a marginal reduction in the number of new jobs being advertised at the end of the quarter.
“However, we must remain cautious. We’ve witnessed declines in key sectors such as retail, energy and estate agency. This is a clear warning sign that tougher times may lie ahead for the jobs market.
“Comparatively, this news is accompanied by a positive story that salaries have risen by an average of 1.6% during the first quarter of 2018. This will be welcomed news for people across the country who have been feeling the pay squeeze over the past year due to a combination of stagnating wages and rising living costs.”