Welsh employees see salary increase for second year running

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

  • 3.9 per cent average regional salary growth for 2019, compared to national average of 3.5 per cent (follows increase of 1.1 per cent in 2018)
  • Jobs with the highest wage increase in 2019 at salaries below £40,000 in the region include content marketing manager (9.6 per cent), buyer (8.7 per cent), production engineer (6.9 per cent)
  • Fastest increasing salaries for roles above £40,000 include data engineer (9.4 per cent), communications manager (8.9 per cent) and InfoSec manager (8.5 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 Welsh business sectors were on the rise. The 3.9 per cent average salary growth for Wales during 2019 compares with the UK average salary growth of 3.5 per cent, and follows a 1.1 per cent increase in 2018.

Biggest job increases across Wales

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 9.6 per cent increase for content marketing managers, an 8.7 per cent for buyers in the procurement sector and a 6.9 per cent increase for production engineers.

Jobs with salaries paying more than £40,000 a year in Wales also performed well – with a 9.4 per cent increase for data engineers, an 8.9 per cent increase for communications managers and an 8.5 per cent increase for InfoSec managers, according to data from the salary guides.

Becky Hole, regional managing director for Reed Specialist Recruitment in Wales, said: “The jobs market in Wales has performed well over the last year, with strong growth across sectors despite the ongoing economic uncertainty.

“Wales has some huge development opportunities, with the growth of the financial services, technology and semi-conductor sectors in South Wales, which will increase demand for workers equipped with those talents. Due to the challenges associated with finding top talent actively seeking new roles, it is incumbent upon companies to entice the best workers to move. Businesses must be clear about the unique opportunities they provide and convince candidates that moving to their organisation would be to their benefit.”

Comparisons to other regions

The 3.9 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). Impressively, this is one of the few regions to be above the national average of 3.5 per cent.

Hole continued: “As always with the Welsh market, competition from ‘over the bridge’ is fierce, with some of the best candidates leaving the region for the higher salaries on offer in England. Businesses must be aware of this and offer competitive packages to companies over the border to attract the best candidates.

“While firms may not be able to match the salaries that are on offer, candidates are looking for more in a job than just basic pay and Wales has a lot to offer in this regard. For instance, the ratio of average wage to living costs is much lower in Wales than England and in a tough housing market this can be of great appeal to professionals. In addition to this, businesses that ensure their benefits package, culture and environment are attractive will be able to tempt top talent to work for them.”