HR · 6 March 2017

Job market recovery reveals high salary growth in February

national minimum wage
Average salary growth increased beyond the rate of inflation in February

The UK experienced strong levels of pay increase last month, as new figures revealed salaries rose 1.9 per cent year-on-year on average in February 2017.

Comparing monthly UK job market data with that of February 2016, online job site CV Library’s latest report showed salary growth increasing slightly beyond the national rate of inflation – currently set at 1.8 per cent.

As well as this, the data showed the job market also increasing. A higher proportion of new roles advertised, compared with the same period last year, demonstrated the returning confidence of employers.

Job vacancies across the UK grew by as much as 7.6 per cent in February, with manufacturers, charities and design companies leading the way in terms of the sectors offering the greatest number of opportunities.

In terms of which UK cities employees can expect to see the biggest salary hikes, Brighton tops the list – the south coast city reported average salary increases of close to 10 per cent last month, compared to February 2016.

Scotland’s capital, Edinburgh, reported the second highest average salary growth of any city in the UK, with 9.5 per cent growth, while Hull and Bristol came in joint third, with average salary growth of 8.6 per cent in each city.

Commenting on the findings, CV Library founder and managing director, Lee Biggins, said: “It’s positive to see companies across the UK pushing their salaries up to offer competitive pay packages to talented recruits.”

Despite the year-on-year increases in salaries and new roles, the report also suggested candidate appetite to apply for new jobs isn’t keeping pace. Total candidate applications experienced by CV Library fell by 3.5 per cent compared with February last year, and as much as 8.2 per cent when comparing month-on-month data.

“It’s unsurprising to see application rates dropping off after January,” added Biggins. “The mantra of ‘New Year, new me’ means January is traditionally one of the busiest months for recruiters, with job applications vastly increasing.”

“We’re seeing increasingly fierce activity from companies as a result, with job postings and salaries on the rise. All this bodes well for candidates out there looking for their next move, with companies keen to bring in the best talent.”

Top ten cities with highest rate of salary growth (Feb 2017 vs Feb 2016) Top ten cities with highest rate of job posting increases (Feb 2017 vs Feb 2016)
Brighton – 9.9 per cent Portsmouth – 21.9 per cent
Edinburgh – 9.5 per cent Glasgow – 20.8 per cent
Hull – 8.6 per cent Manchester – 11.6 per cent
Bristol – 8.6 per cent Birmingham – 10.6 per cent
Manchester – 6.8 per cent Sheffield – 10.2 per cent
Liverpool – 5.1 per cent Cardiff – 9.5 per cent
Sheffield – 3.9 per cent Hull – 9.5 per cent
Birmingham – 3.2 per cent Southampton – 9.3 per cent
Glasgow – 2.5 per cent Liverpool – 8.7 per cent
Portsmouth – 2.4 per cent Brighton – 5.3 per cent

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Fred Heritage is deputy editor at Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and international relations from the University of Kent and an MA in international conflict from Kings College London. He previously worked as a reporter at Global Trade Review magazine.

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