Travel firms are struggling to recruit new staff due to a shortage of available candidates, with Brexit uncertainty “clearly a factor”.

The number of new job seekers in March dipped year-on-year for ten months in a row, with registrations falling to their weakest total for the month since at least 2011.

The fall came despite pay for the average new job in travel rising 4.15% to £27,579 over February to reach its highest level since last September, according to analysis issued today by C&M Travel Recruitment and C&M Executive Recruitment.

The figure was also up 2.49% on the same month in 2018 and up 4.71% on a rolling 12-month average.

Average salaries for jobs paying up to £40,000 rose by 2.25% to £24,817 – the first monthly increase of the year – but this was still down by 1.28% on March 2018.

The amount of successful job placements remained healthy, rising 3% year-on-year, despite being a poor month for new candidates, C&M said.

The volume of new travel jobs also stayed above average after a marginal monthly rise of 1%.

C&M director Barbara Kolosinska said: “Travel salaries increased by an average 4.15% last month, but more importantly, they rose across all levels of the travel industry from entry positions to executive roles.

“This is great to see and means that the average new travel job now pays £669 more than at the same point in 2018.

“However, it’s concerning that candidate numbers are down year-on-year once again.

“It’s hard to say exactly how much impact the prolonged Brexit uncertainty is having on the recruitment market, but it clearly is a factor for many potential candidates who are choosing to remain in their current roles rather than look for a change.

“However, now that the UK appears to be remaining in the EU until at least the end of October, we’re hopeful that we’ll see activity levels improve over the rest of spring and into summer.”