Northern Ireland employees see average salary increase for second year running

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

  • 3.1 per cent average regional salary growth for 2019, compared to national average of 3.5 per cent (1.1 per cent increase in 2018)
  • Jobs with the highest wage increase in 2019 at salaries below £40,000 in the region include hotel manager (9.2 per cent), commercial accountant (5.3 per cent) and digital marketing manager (2.2 per cent)
  • Fastest increasing salaries for roles above £40,000 include communications manager (8.3 per cent), engineering/technical manager (6.2 per cent) and CPO / procurement director (5.3 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 Northern Ireland business sectors were on the rise. The 3.1 per cent average salary growth for Northern Ireland during 2019 compares with the national average salary growth of 3.5 per cent, and follows a 1.1 per cent increase in 2018.

Biggest job increases across Northern Ireland

A number of sectors and specific job roles experienced salary increases that outstripped the national average, with highlights for roles under £40,000 including a 9.2 per cent increase for hotel managers, 5.3 per cent for commercial accountants and 2.2 per cent increase for digital marketing managers.

Jobs with salaries paying more than £40,000 a year in Northern Ireland also performed well – with an 8.3 per cent increase for communications managers, 6.2 per cent increase for engineering/technical managers and 5.3 per cent increase for CPO/procurement directors.

Mike Harrison, regional managing director for Reed Specialist Recruitment in Northern Ireland, said: “Northern Ireland is experiencing record high employment levels, resulting in a candidate-driven market where job offers far outweigh the talent available.

“Therefore the top candidates are in a position to pick and choose the companies that offer the best in terms of salary and benefits. With the lower cost of living in Northern Ireland, the region has seen significant investments which open the door to more opportunities for businesses and candidates alike.”

Comparisons to other regions

The 3.1 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.

Harrison continued: “In order to attract the best talent, businesses need to adopt excellent retention strategies with clear progression opportunities to encourage employees to remain within the company and aspire to move up the career ladder.

“Candidates are now seeking flexible and remote working. Only paying the market rate is no longer sufficient to attract the best talent. Businesses need to focus on improving their brand and benefits package, and they will find that the passive market opens up very quickly.”