Opinion

Why are salaries in East Anglia starting to rise?

Our latest salary and recruitment report has shown that, after several years of salaries remaining pretty consistent, they are now beginning to rise across East Anglia.

While the increase in salaries could be partly attributed to the introduction of the national living wage, we believe the improving job market has also had a significant impact. As our local economy has strengthened, more organisations have begun to expand and recruit. This has increased the competition for talented employees and employers are starting to look at paying more to attract and retain high calibre staff.

The rise in pay is most noticeable in sectors which are currently facing a particularly candidate short market, such as the accountancy industry where there is strong competition for high calibre, newly qualified employees. When there are more job opportunities available, candidates become more confident about switching companies. They also feel more empowered to negotiate better terms. We are advising employers to be prepared for this and to use our full report to benchmark how competitive their current salary offering is for both current and prospective employees.

Our report provides a breakdown of average salaries in key roles across our core sectors of Accountancy, Financial Services, Human Resources, Office Support, Marketing and IT. Marketing and HR positions are also showing solid salary growth, reflecting the return in confidence in the economy and pay is also increasing for both temporary and permanent office roles. As the digital world continues to move at an exceptionally fast rate, the demand for skilled IT professionals has also seen pay rises across all levels and roles within this industry.

Unlike many industry salary guides, our report only provides figures for each of the counties in East Anglia. This provides a more accurate representation for local employers, as the figures aren’t influenced by London weighted salaries. The findings have been compiled using information from our Compare my Salary tool and the team’s extensive knowledge of the recruitment market in East Anglia. Candidates can also use Compare my Salary to see how their pay compares to others in like-for-like jobs across the region.

However, it is important to note that the result of the European referendum could affect this upward trend in salaries. Recruitment is recognised as one of the first industries to react to economic changes and the decision to exit the EU could affect confidence and investment, which would threaten jobs and reduce candidate competition. When the Brexit referendum was first announced, there was a noticeable slowdown in the number of new jobs and a significant amount of recruitment put on hold. Conversely, in the two months leading up to this historic vote, we were surprised by the high level of recruitment activity, so perhaps this indicates a greater economic resilience in this region. We will continue to monitor trends in our region and keep local employers and candidates informed.