Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

Salary slump: Wages drop for the first time since Q1 2018

…But applications continue to rise

According to the latest quarterly job market report from CV-Library, the UK’s leading independent job board, salaries dropped by 7.8% in the final few months of 2019; the first time they’ve fallen year-on-year since Q1 2018. 

The report looks at job market data throughout Q4 2019 and compares this with findings from the previous year. It reveals that some of the UK’s major cities also experienced a drop in wages year-on-year, including Glasgow (down 4.8%), Liverpool (down 4.4%) and London (down 3.4%). 

However, lower wages didn’t dissuade candidates from applying for roles, as job applications rose by 7.6% across the UK; the first time they have risen year-on-year since the same period in 2016. Indeed, the cities which saw the largest growth in job applications year-on-year include: 

  • Portsmouth (up 33.9%)
  • Southampton (up 17.3%) 
  • Edinburgh (up 16.9%) 
  • Exeter (up 15.7%) 
  • Brighton (up 14.2%) 
  • Aberdeen (up 12%)
  • London (up 10.2%)
  • Glasgow (up 9.9%)
  • Bristol (up 8.9%)
  • Leicester (up 7.2%) 

Lee Biggins, CEO and founder of CV-Library commented: 

“It’s no surprise that salaries were substantially lower in Q4 2019 than in the previous year. The final few months of 2019 saw a great deal of political uncertainty; between the original Brexit deadline and the December general election, businesses were forced to tighten their belts and prepare for the worst.

“However, it’s clear that this drop in pay didn’t put candidates off applying for new roles. While this is positive for businesses across the UK, it’s unusual to see growth in applications at this time of year. This suggests that professionals are tired of waiting for the current political landscape to settle and that they might be looking for something other than a high salary when it comes to changing jobs.”

While some organisations may have cut down on salaries, many didn’t hold back on advertising new roles last quarter. In fact, the number of job adverts grew by 4% year-on-year across the UK, with Scottish cities Edinburgh (up 34.5%), Glasgow (up 26.2%) and Aberdeen (26.1%), experiencing the biggest hike in vacancies. 

Biggins continues: 

“While some cities saw substantial increases in jobsthe majority of the UK saw much smaller levels of growth. This suggests that businesses are still nervous to expand their workforce in the current climate; especially now that we’re just days away from the next Brexit deadline. 

“However, it’s important to keep investing in top talent – even during times of uncertainty. Ensuring that your company has a passionate and dedicated workforce will help to future-proof your business, so now is the perfect time to think about pushing forward with your recruitment efforts.”

About CV-Library

CV-Library is one of the UK’s largest online job sites and attracts over 4.3 million unique job seekers every month. Founded by Lee Biggins in 2000, CV-Library is the UK’s leading independent online job board with a database of over 14 million CVs.