HR · 5 June 2017

Average salaries increase across UK as employers respond to falling applications

national minimum wage
Brighton and Nottingham created the greatest number of job openings in May 2017

Average salaries in Britain rose by four per cent between April and May 2017, according to new job market figures, as business owners competed among a declining pool of available candidates.

According to new statistics from job site CV-Library, average salaries increased in all corners of the UK in May. Brighton and Sheffield gave the biggest rises, with average salaries growing by 8.1 per cent and 7.4 per cent respectively.

The number of advertised job vacancies also increased significantly. Employers created 17.7 per cent more job openings in May than the month previously, demonstrating renewed confidence among UK businesses.

Commenting on increased job market activity in May, Lee Biggins, CV-Library founder, said employers acknowledged the need to give candidates the best possible offers.

“It’s great to see business confidence is remaining strong, with job vacancies increasing in key cities and sectors across the UK,” he said in a statement.

“Not only this, but with salaries also seeing an impressive increase last month, it’s clear that businesses understand the need to offer candidates the very best packages.” 

However, declining availability of candidates went some way to explaining the sudden boost to salaries on offer. Application rates dropped by 2.4 per cent across the UK last month.

The biggest falls in application rates reflected the cities offering increased salary packages. In Leeds and Manchester the fall was felt most strongly, with respective declines in applications of 8.9 per cent and 7.5 per cent.

Recent figures from the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) revealed as many as nine in ten employers planned to increase their head count of temporary workers in the next three months, as companies struggled to recruit staff on a permanent basis.

Biggins suggested uncertainty around Britain’s economic future could explain hesitation among the workforce, with employers and candidates hoping for greater clarity once the next government is elected on 8 June.

Biggins added: “There have been many promises to build a stronger job market in light of the upcoming election. However, with article 50 now triggered, many workers across the nation are uncertain about the future and this could be why we have seen a decline in candidate appetite.”

“That said, it’s great to see that businesses are not slowing down, as they push harder to entice talented candidates into their organisations.”

The following ten UK cities generated the biggest increases in available jobs in May

  1. Brighton – 23.3 per cent
  2. Nottingham – 21.6 per cent
  3. Sheffield – 21.3 per cent
  4. Leeds – 21.1 per cent
  5. Birmingham – 20.4 per cent
  6. Newcastle – 20.4 per cent
  7. Liverpool – 19.6 per cent
  8. Glasgow – 18.1 per cent
  9. Bristol – 17.1 per cent
  10. Manchester – 15.5 per cent

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Praseeda Nair is the editorial director of Business Advice, and its sister publication for growing businesses, Real Business. She's an impassioned advocate for women in leadership, and likes to profile business owners, advisors and experts in the field of entrepreneurship and management.

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