London employees see salary increase for second year in a row

Average salary levels in London grew last year for the second year in a row across a variety of job roles, according to new data released by Reed Specialist Recruitment.

  • 2.3 per cent average regional salary growth for 2019, compared to national average of 3.5 per cent (1.6 per cent increase in 2018)
  • Jobs with the highest wage increase in 2019 at salaries below £40,000 in the region include commis chef (8.9 per cent), assistant accountant (6.6 per cent) and bar manager (6.4 per cent)
  • Fastest increasing salaries for roles above £40,000 include communications manager (7.9 per cent), events manager (7.7 per cent) and database developer (7.7 per cent) 

From analysis of 7.5 million jobs posted since the start of 2016, Reed Specialist Recruitment’s annual suite of 2020 Salary Guides, found that salaries across the capital’s business sectors were on the rise. The 2.3 per cent average salary growth for London is a solid increase, and follows a 1.6 per cent increase in 2018.

Biggest job increases across London

A number of sectors and specific job roles experienced salary increases that outstripped the national average, with highlights for roles under £40,000 including an 8.9 per cent increase for commis chefs, 6.6 per cent increase for assistant accountants, and a 6.4 per cent increase for bar managers, according to the salary guide data.

Jobs with salaries paying more than £40,000 a year in London also performed well – with a 7.9 per cent for in-demand communications managers and a 7.7 per cent for events managers in the marketing sector, while database developers also experienced a 7.7 per cent increase in the technology sector.

Amanda Hall, regional managing director for Reed London, said: “General economic uncertainty is affecting how businesses go about the recruitment process, however, London has still performed robustly, with a growth increase for the average salary two years running.

“To attract the best talent in a challenging market, businesses will need to make very generous offers in terms of both salary and benefits. As well as offering perks like flexible working, companies should be aware that the most skilled professionals will receive multiple offers, so it’s critical for them to sell themselves too.”

Comparisons to other regions

The 2.3 per cent average increase in advertised salaries across the region is more than regions such as the South West (1.8 per cent), the North West (1.7 per cent) and Yorkshire & Humberside (1.6 per cent). However, the 2020 Reed Salary Guides also found that this is below the national average salary growth of 3.5 per cent.

Hall continued: “The impact of a candidate short marketplace is creating a supply and demand issue, and pushing salary bandings above candidate values. Businesses need to ensure that their recruitment process is efficient and organised.

“With competition at an all-time high, businesses need to be able to make a decision quickly should they see the right candidate – as we normally find that most candidates have two or three options available to them.”