Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

Average pay packets £3k higher than 2 years ago as employers increase spending on staff

Advertised pay rates have increased by more than £3,000 over the past two years, despite Brexit uncertainty, according to the latest UK Job Market Report from job search engine Adzuna.

  • April sees average advertised salaries of £35,772, £3k higher than April 2017
  • Nearly 1,130,000 jobs on offer, 3.3% up on March and 2.8% up on April 2018
  • Record low competition for roles with almost 5 jobs advertised per jobseeker
  • South West wage boom driven by cities like Bristol, Bath and Exeter
  • Domestic Help & Cleaning, Admin, Hospitality & Catering and Customer Services jobs all boosted by rise in minimum wage

Advertised pay rates have increased by more than £3,000 over the past two years, despite Brexit uncertainty, according to the latest UK Job Market Report from job search engine Adzuna.

April 2019 saw average UK advertised salaries hit £35,722, 0.9% higher than in March (£35,390) and 5.1% up from April 2018 (£33,973), finally outpacing inflation rates of 2%. Compared to the average salary on offer in April 2017 (£32,678), wages have been boosted 9.3%, meaning salaries have increased £3,044 over the last two years.

In a further sign of investment, the last three months have also seen steady growth in the number of advertised jobs on offer. There were 1,129,267 advertised vacancies available in April, up 3.3% compared to March (1,093,054) and 2.8% higher than a year ago (1,098,259).

And in a third piece of good news for jobseekers, competition for jobs has fallen to a record low, with a ratio of 0.21 jobseekers per vacancy in April. This means there are around five times more jobs being advertised than workers looking for new roles, the highest rate recorded since Adzuna began collecting the data seven years ago. Competition for jobs is now significantly lower than the ratio of 0.43 jobseekers per vacancy recorded a year ago, with the talent war showing no signs of letting up.

Salaries for Domestic help workers and Cleaners have seen the biggest surge year-on-year, rising 15.5% to £19,746. This is followed by admin jobs, who have seen average salaries rise 9.2% to £28,975. Hospitality and catering also make notable advances in terms of salaries, with a 9% year-on-year increase to £23,606.

Meanwhile, the employment rate sits at a record high of 76.1%, according to the latest Q1 figures from the ONS. This includes the highest proportion of women in work since records began in 1971, with 71.8% of women between the ages of 16 and 64 in employment. Q1 also recorded a record number of EU nationals employed in the UK workforce, accounting for 2.38m workers, according to the data.

Andrew Hunter, co-founder of Adzuna, comments: “Brexit negotiations may be grinding to a halt, but the resilient jobs market is still moving steadily forwards. After a slow start to the year, job vacancy levels are bouncing back and pay rises are finally beating inflation. Employees too are in high spirits with more workers switching between roles. And retention rates for women in the workforce are improving. The promise of summer is showing in increased opportunities throughout the jobs market.

“The EU extension has given the market a temporary reprieve from political deadlock, lifting the moods of employers. But many are still hedging their bets. The vacancy boom is partly due to cautious employers preferring to hire temporary staff than make more expensive, permanent investments in infrastructure. To a certain extent, the tight market and shortage of talent is forcing these wage rises. EU workers are a critical component to the UK workforce, meaning if Brexit narrows the pool of talent even further, employers will have to work even harder to attract, retain and re-train their staff.”

Wage growth boosts lower earners

Four of the five biggest improvers by salary were lower earning industries, as annual improvements to the living wage, increasing from £7.83 an hour to £8.21 an hour as of April 2019, helped boost the service sector. Domestic Help & Cleaning jobs saw the largest annual salary increase, rising 15.5% to £19,746 in April. This was followed by Admin jobs (up 9.2% to £28,975) and Hospitality & Catering positions (up 9.0% to £23,606). The Customer Services sector also featured in the top 5 sectors for pay growth, seeing average advertised salaries increase 5.8% to £22,308.

South West sees salary boom, but Wales wages weaken

The South West saw salaries leap 9.4% year-on-year to £33,891 in April 2019, as the region makes strides to catch-up with the capital as a key career hub. By comparison, London wages grew just 5.3% year-on-year to £43,604, while the South East lagged further behind with pay rising just 4.5% to £33,794. Bristol is proving to be the jewel in the South West’s crown, with average salaries of £36,809, a thriving IT and Finance scene, and a growing community of young professionals priced out of living in the capital.

Table 1: Annual change in jobseeker competition, advertised salaries and advertised vacancies


April 2019

April 2018

Annual Change

Jobseekers per vacancy




Advertised Salaries




Advertised Vacancies




Table 2: Average salary - by region


Average Salary

Annual Change

Eastern England



East Midlands






North East England



North West England



Northern Ireland






South East England



South West England






West Midlands



Yorkshire and The Humber