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West Midlands employees see average salary increase for second year running

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

  • 2.8 per cent average regional salary growth for 2019, compared to national average of 3.5 per cent (2.2 per cent increase in 2018)
  • Jobs with the highest wage increase in 2019 at salaries below £40,000 in the region include content marketing manager (7.4 per cent), hotel manager (5.2 per cent) and recruitment coordinator (4.6 per cent)
  • Fastest increasing salaries for roles above £40,000 include data engineer (9.5 per cent), UI designer (9.4 per cent) and reward manager (9.2 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 West Midlands business sectors were on the rise. The 2.8 per cent average salary growth for the West Midlands during 2019 compares with the national average salary growth of 3.5 per cent, and follows a 2.2 per cent increase in 2018.

Biggest job increases across the West Midlands

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 7.4 per cent increase for content marketing managers, a 5.2 per cent increase for hotel managers and a 4.6 per cent increase for recruitment coordinators.

Jobs with salaries paying more than £40,000 a year in the West Midlands also performed well – with a 9.5 per cent increase for data engineers, a 9.4 per cent increase for UI designers and a 9.2 per cent increase for reward managers.

Rob Russell, regional managing director for Reed West Midlands, said: “Salary growth in the West Midlands has performed robustly despite major businesses in the manufacturing and transport sectors suffering at the hands of Brexit uncertainty.

“The region has a largely localised market, which means that companies must act fast when a suitable candidate does become available. It’s important for any organisation looking to hire to review any benefits package to ensure they are competitive. Companies should also consider what training and development they can offer a potential employee in order to attract the best talent.”

Comparisons to other regions

The 2.8 per cent average increase in advertised salaries across the West Midlands is less than the UK average of 3.5 per cent, but it outperformed other regions such as the South West (1.8 per cent), the North West (1.7 per cent) and Yorkshire & Humberside (1.6 per cent).

Russell continued: “Emerging technologies are receiving strong levels of investment, while the West Midlands remains the UK’s top manufacturing region. This offers a fantastic opportunity for candidates in the area and we’re increasingly seeing the value of transferable skills from one sector to another.

“One case of highly valuable skills being transferred is as a result of the decline in the automotive sector leading to a surplus in automotive engineers. The skills these workers have in maintaining machinery are extremely valuable in disciplines like food production and there is great competition for the right talent.

“Professionals should ensure they have a plan when they start to look for new opportunities and those who are looking to switch sectors will need to be patient as some employers are still reluctant to hire across different industry verticals. However, those employers that do are reaping the benefits.”