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Scottish employees see average salary increase for second year running

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

  • 3.5 per cent average regional salary growth for 2019, level with national average of 3.5 per cent (0.8 per cent increase in 2018)
  • Jobs with the highest wage increase in 2019 at salaries below £40,000 in the region include restaurant manager (8.1 per cent), payroll assistant (7.7 per cent) and supply chain coordinator (7.1 per cent)
  • Fastest increasing salaries for roles above £40,000 include data engineer (9.6 per cent), software engineer (9.5 per cent) and health and safety manager (7.3 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 wages across Scottish business sectors were on the rise. The 3.5 per cent average salary growth for Scotland during 2019 is on par with the UK average salary growth of 3.5 per cent, and follows an increase of 0.8 per cent in 2018.

Biggest job increases across Scotland

A number of sectors and specific job roles experienced salary increases that outstripped the national average, with highlights for roles under £40,000 including restaurant managers (8.1 per cent), payroll assistants (7.7 per cent) and supply chain coordinators (7.1 per cent).

Jobs with salaries paying more than £40,000 a year in Scotland also performed well – with an increase of 9.6 per cent for data engineers, 9.5 per cent for software engineers and 7.3 per cent for health and safety managers.

Mike Harrison, regional managing director of Reed Specialist Recruitment Scotland, said: “Salary growth in Scotland has been extremely strong during the last year in spite of ongoing economic uncertainty across the UK.

“For workers in Scotland it will be a major confidence boost to see that salary levels have been maintained and increased across a number of sectors. This welcome trend not only reassures employees of their roles, but can also see them start looking for progression with their current employer, or their competitors. The bonus for businesses is that this positive uptick in salary should also help organisations to attract talent who may be considering Scotland as a country that offers wide-ranging career opportunities.”

Comparisons to other regions

The 3.5 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).

Harrison continued: “Scotland’s future over the next few years has never been so unclear, with discussions of independence high on the political agenda. Businesses have been holding off on key hires and ambitious expansion plans until they have a clearer lay of the land. Despite this, there are some businesses looking to take matters into their own hands and investing to thrive regardless of the direction of political travel.

“Opportunities for businesses in Scotland, particularly in emerging industries such as technology and software, are growing and these firms will need to target the right talent if they want to navigate through this precarious period.”