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Lucie Mitchell

Sift Media

Freelance journalist and former editor of HRZone

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UK salaries grow for first time since downturn


Salaries offered in job adverts have increased year-on-year for the first time since the recession, according to new research.

The average advertised UK salary stood at £33,873 in July, a rise of 0.9% on the previous year, the report by UK jobs website Adzuna found.

The number of advertised vacancies grew by over a quarter since last year, with 872,629 vacancies advertised in July. This also represented a 4% month-on-month increase from 839,950 in June.

Wages rose in all parts of the UK in July apart from London, which saw a 1.6% drop. Average salaries in the capital have also fallen by 1% in the past year, which may be due to a swell in graduates and start-up firms, as well as lower-paid hospitality and customer services roles, according to the report, which is based on all UK job vacancies advertised online from over 300 sources.

Average wages increased by nearly 19% in Wales to £29,886, 7% in South West England, 6% in North East England, 5% in both the West Midlands and Yorkshire and the Humber, and just over 4% in both North West England and Northern Ireland. Scotland saw just a 2% increase in average salary to £32,589.

Andrew Hunter, co-founder of Adzuna, said he was optimistic about the results as people may be finally feeling the economic recovery.

“The UK job creation boom has become a double edged sword, creating record highs in employment rates at the expense of stagnating wages.

“For once we can see good levels in both job creation and wage increases. And as the UK motors on towards full employment, we may well see wages increase at a higher rate as employers begin a bidding war for skills.”

There are now significantly fewer jobseekers per vacancy, with just 1.14 applicants per role in July, a drop of 29.5% on the previous year, the report found.

In terms of industry, manufacturing saw the biggest improvement, with vacancies doubling year-on-year to 15,912, and salaries reaching a two-year high in July, rising by almost 16% to £29,507 since last year, according to the findings.

Graduate salaries are also rising – July saw the third consecutive month of growth, with average salaries now standing at £24,870. Graduate vacancies also increased from 5,550 in July 2013 to 14,746 this year.

Hunter said this represents a “statement of confidence” from employers.

“Firms can now afford to take on more entry level staff, feeling confident that there will be the resources to pay their wages for years to come.

“For the first time in many years, it appears that there is a slight role reversal taking place between graduates and employers. Firms are now willing to pay more to attract to graduates as they compete for skilled entry level workers.”

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Lucie Mitchell

Freelance journalist and former editor of HRZone

Read more from Lucie Mitchell

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