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Vacancies rise, but pay falls for new jobs in the UK

Increased competition blamed for three per cent fall in starting salaries for new jobs.

Job vacancies in the UK went up one per cent while starting salaries for new jobs fell three per cent last month, according to a report by the employment agency Reed.

Average wage available declined by 4.2 per cent to £31,800 in May, from £33,200 in April. It was £33,414 in December last year.

Charity and voluntary sectors saw the highest rise in job demand, followed by the marketing, public relations, legal and secretarial sectors.

The data based on the Reed Job Index comes just weeks after official figures revealed an effective "pay freeze" in the private sector, as pay (excluding bonuses) for new and existing workers rose by only 1.2 per cent in the first three months of the year.

Reed's managing director Martin Warnes said the job market was actually in a better shape than it might be following the interruption of the general election and the current eurozone debt crisis.