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South West employees see average salary increase for second year running

Average salary levels in the South West grew for the second year running in 2019 across a variety of job roles, according to new data released by Reed Specialist Recruitment. 

  • 1.8 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 commis chef (9.5 per cent), process engineer (9.3 per cent) and content marketing manager (6.7 per cent)
  • Fastest increasing salaries for roles paying above £40,000 include data engineer (9.5 per cent), cloud engineer (7.8 per cent) and finance director (6.9 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 salaries across South West business sectors were on the rise. The 1.8 per cent average salary growth for the South West during 2019 compares with the national average salary growth of 3.5 per cent, and follows an increase of 1.1 per cent in 2018.

Biggest job increases across the South West

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 9.5 per cent increase for commis chefs, a 9.3 per cent increase for process engineers and 6.7 per cent increase for content marketing managers.

Jobs with salaries paying more than £40,000 a year in the South West also performed well – with a 9.5 per cent increase for data engineers, a 7.8 per cent increase for cloud engineers and 6.9 per cent increase for finance directors.

Becky Hole, regional managing director for Reed South West, said: “Market uncertainty is having an impact on businesses in the South West, with salary growth in the region below the national average. While there are a good range of skilled candidates, businesses are more hesitant to take on new employees due to uncertain economic conditions. However, the growth of the technology sector in the South West looks set to continue, which we expect to lead to the creation of a number of business support roles.

“The regional environment means that employers must stand out and state the clear, tangible benefits of working for them in order to attract the best candidates. Companies must research their salary and benefits offering to ensure it is competitive enough to tempt workers to join them.”

Comparisons to other regions

The 1.8 per cent average increase in advertised salaries across the region is less than the national average of 3.5 per cent. However, it is a larger increase than northern business powerhouses such as the North West (1.7 per cent) and Yorkshire & Humberside (1.6 per cent).

Hole continued: “Bristol dominates the South West recruitment market, meaning that location is a hugely important aspect for candidates. Employers must bear this in mind and, if in a less desirable location, improve other aspects of their offer to compensate. Employing the right people and capturing the best talent will be crucial to helping businesses achieve their objectives.”