Salaries surge in certain sectors as in-demand skills force wages higher

New research has found that jobs in certain sectors have seen a significant increase in wages as a result of a shortage of workers, with graduate lawyers enjoying starting salaries as high as £150,000.

The new data comes from Alan Bannatyne, Chief Financial Officer at Robert Walters. In an interview with the BBC, he said that many workers were quitting for better-paid jobs amid soaring demand for skilled workers in certain sectors.

He said: “15 per cent is the minimum pay rise we’re seeing, but some are increasing their salaries by up to 50 per cent. Unless something significant happens, 2022 should be even better for staff.”

However, while staff may be enjoying higher wages due to the UK labour wages, employers are having to increase their remuneration package to secure and retain the most skilled staff.

UK job vacancies have hit record levels since the economy reopened, in part due to the sudden increase in demand for many businesses’ services and products.

The data and anecdotes from Robert Walters suggest that there will be “winners and losers” from Covid, with some businesses simply not able to provide competitive salaries in their sectors.

Elsewhere though, despite increased demand for workers, employers are struggling to pay more due to the disruption of the Coronavirus pandemic.

These areas include bricks-and-mortar retailers, hospitality and airlines, which have struggled with restrictions from successive lockdowns and rule changes.

Unfortunately, many of these sectors are now in competition with high growth businesses, such as online retailers, who are actively seeking out workers from other sectors looking for a career change and offering higher pay and benefits.

Recruitment agency Manpower has also reported similar trends. Its UK Director, Chris Gray told the BBC: “It is absolutely a candidate-led market right now. Those with the in-demand skills hold the power and have the freedom and flexibility to accept a job that suits their particular needs and expectations.”

Given these conditions, it may come as little surprise that the most recent official data shows growth in average pay, including bonuses, standing at 4.9 per cent year-on-year between August and October.

If you are unsure of how a wage increase may affect your business and its payroll process, please speak to us.