The jobs market is heading for “turbulence”, fuelled by uncertainty over the EU referendum and the impact of the national living wage, according to a new report. Jobs site Adzuna said advertised salaries had reached a standstill as employment optimism “stutters”.

The number of vacancies is still increasing – up by almost 4% to 1.1 million last month – but advertised pay has fallen compared with a year ago in every region except Northern Ireland.

Industries most affected by the new national living wage of £7.20 an hour for over 25-year-olds include retail and manufacturing, said the report.

Doug Monro of Adzuna said: “It’s a time of turbulence for the jobs market. Unemployment is climbing and political uncertainty could well be impacting hiring plans.

“In particular, recent reports indicate hiring permanent staff may be put on pause until after the EU referendum as employers turn to temporary workers to fill gaps.

“Predictions of risks to jobs and the economy show how vulnerable the employment sector can be to wider economic change.

“The new national living wage also poses a natural challenge to the status quo. Nerves about bigger wage bills could mean staff perks will be first to go to fund companies’ extra costs. These reports are already flowing in, with overtime pay already taking a hit.”

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