Travel recruitment specialist C&M Recruitment says competition for jobs has never been higher in the five years it has been tracking roles and salaries.

C&M’s Salary Index for September show more candidates searched for new roles that in any month since 2012. The previous high was March this year.

Average salaries of newly advertised roles rose to highest point since February 2013 last months but the north-south wage gap hit its widest point in five years.

Candidate numbers have now increased year-on-year in every month of 2017, indicating the health of the current market, said C&M.

The latest C&M Travel Recruitment and C&M Executive Recruitment found the number of new travel jobs being made available increased by 7% compared to September 2016, but fell by 0.5% from August 2017.

The average new travel job now comes with a pay packet of £27,203 which is up 3.25% from August and is the first time that salaries have topped £27,000 since February 2013. The figure means wages have risen 8.93% since last September.

Executive roles paying £40,000 and above reached their highest point since December 2014, and southern wages hit £28,755, the highest level since April 2016.

However, a fall in northern wages meant that the north-south gap widened to £7,614, the largest difference in salary since March 2012.

Barbara Kolosinska, director at C&M Travel Recruitment and C&M Executive Recruitment, said:

“Activity is booming in the travel recruitment market with more candidates searching for roles than we have ever seen before.

“While this means that competition is increasing, there is still a massive demand for quality candidates and there are great opportunities out there for them.

“It’s also hugely encouraging to see salaries for new travel jobs rising to a near record high.

“This is the first time in four and a half years that average wages have topped £27,000, and with salaries like these on offer, we’re likely to see many more travel professionals entering the market to take advantage of this wage boom.”