UK salaries rise in February, as employers push to attract more candidates

UK salaries rise in February, as employers push to attract more candidates, with many of the nation’s key sectors witnessing above average salary growth last month.

It was a strong start to the year for both employers and professionals, and it’s clear that businesses were working hard last month to continue attracting talented candidates to their roles. In fact, according to the latest statistics from CV-Library, advertised salaries increased by 1.3 per cent year-on-year.

The data, which explored fluctuations in pay, jobs and applications throughout February, reveals that the nation saw a smaller increase in advertised salaries of just 0.5 per cent, when comparing with data from January 2018. However, some of the UK’s key industries witnessed above average salary growth last month, compared to data from January 2018.

The top industries for pay hikes

  1. Hospitality – 6.5 per cent
  2. Marketing – 4.6 per cent
  3. Engineering – 3.6 per cent
  4. Accounting – 2.6 per cent
  5. Manufacturing – 1.3 per cent
  6. IT – 1.3 per cent
  7. Legal – 1.2 per cent
  8. Recruitment – 1.1 per cent
  9. Construction – 1.1 per cent
  10. Catering – 0.5 per cent

Furthermore, many of the nation’s major cities also saw strong month-on-month salary growth. Some of the biggest increases were seen in Hull (7.9 per cent), Sheffield (6.6 per cent), Bristol (4.2 per cent), Portsmouth (2.3 per cent) and London (1.2 per cent).

Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library, comments, ‘It’s great to see that salaries are on the rise across the UK, especially given that pay declined in January. It’s particularly positive to see this growth in key industries and cities across the nation, especially in sectors such as hospitality, engineering and manufacturing which continue to struggle with impending skills shortages.

‘It’s clear that businesses are trying to keep the momentum going following the typical January hiring rush and that they’re working hard to keep attracting talented candidates to their vacancies.’

The data reveals that job vacancies were also up last month, rising by 7.7 per cent year-on-year. That said, advertised vacancies were down by 13.3 per cent month-on-month, as were applications, which saw a decline of 16.1 per cent when compared with January 2018. This is not surprising given the time of year, though does confirm that both candidates and employers are slightly nervous in the current market.

Biggins concludes, ‘It’s positive to see that job vacancies were up year-on-year, as businesses remained confident in February. Despite both vacancies and applications declining month-on-month, this is not cause for concern. We typically see jobs and applications soar in January with both employers and job hunters starting the year on a high. As such, we expected to see these numbers decline slightly throughout February.’

Further reading on salaries

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Owen Gough

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the and titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the

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