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UK salaries rise in February, as employers push to attract more candidates

With many of the nation’s key sectors witnessing above average salary growth last month

Company Profile


It was a strong start to the year for both employers and professionals, and it’s clear that businesses were working hard last month to continue attracting talented candidates to their roles. In fact, according to the latest statistics from CV-Library, the UK’s leading independent job site, advertised salaries increased by 1.3% year-on-year.

The data, which explored fluctuations in pay, jobs and applications throughout February, reveals that  the nation saw a smaller increase in advertised salaries of just 0.5%, when comparing with data from January 2018. However, some of the UK’s key industries witnessed above average salary growth last month, compared to data from January 2018. The top industries for pay hikes include:

  • Hospitality – 6.5%
  • Marketing – 4.6%
  • Engineering – 3.6%
  • Accounting – 2.6%
  • Manufacturing – 1.3%
  • IT – 1.3%
  • Legal – 1.2%
  • Recruitment – 1.1%
  • Construction – 1.1%
  • Catering – 0.5%

Furthermore, many of the nation’s major cities also saw strong month-on-month salary growth. Some of the biggest increases were seen in Hull (7.9%), Sheffield (6.6%), Bristol (4.2%), Portsmouth (2.3%) and London (1.2%).

Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library, comments on the findings: “It’s great to see that salaries are on the rise across the UK, especially given that pay declined in January. It’s particularly positive to see this growth in key industries and cities across the nation, especially in sectors such as hospitality, engineering and manufacturing which continue to struggle with impending skills shortages.

“It’s clear that businesses are trying to keep the momentum going following the typical January hiring rush and that they’re working hard to keep attracting talented candidates to their vacancies.” 

The data reveals that job vacancies were also up last month, rising by 7.7% year-on-year. That said, advertised vacancies were down by 13.3% month-on-month, as were applications, which saw a decline of 16.1% when compared with January 2018. This is not surprising given the time of year, though does confirm that both candidates and employers are slightly nervous in the current market. 

Biggins concludes: “It’s positive to see that job vacancies were up year-on-year, as businesses remained confident in February. Despite both vacancies and applications declining month-on-month, this is not cause for concern. We typically see jobs and applications soar in January with both employers and job hunters starting the year on a high. As such, we expected to see these numbers decline slightly throughout February.”

Learn more about CV-Library at www.cv-library.co.uk