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UK Salaries Rise in February, as Employers Push to Attract More Candidates


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:

  1. Hospitality – 6.5%
  2. Marketing – 4.6%
  3. Engineering – 3.6%
  4. Accounting – 2.6%
  5. Manufacturing – 1.3%
  6. IT – 1.3%
  7. Legal – 1.2%
  8. Recruitment – 1.1%
  9. Construction – 1.1%
  10. 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


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CV-Library is one of the UK’s largest online job sites, with the UK’s biggest database of over 12m CVs. The company was founded in 2000 as a response to Lee’s identification of a market niche. As a young carpet fitter at the time struggling to find work, Lee saw a need for an easy-to-use job board benefiting both job hunters and recruiters. With a £9k loan and help from a web developer, the CV-Library website was built. Lee’s raw passion and hands-on marketing strategies lifted the business off the ground and it is this that continues to push his company to new heights.

The business is now one of the fastest growing websites in the country. The team is expanding rapidly, now employing over 200 staff. It has also launched sister website, Resume Library, in the US, where the company is set to expand and take the brand global over the coming years. Lee puts the reason for his success down to working incredibly hard, loving what he does and a strong desire to make the business the best it can be.

Lee has received over 50 awards and accolades to date and was last year recognised as Entrepreneur of the Year. In April 2015 CV-Library was also ranked as number 49 in the Sunday Times Profit Track 100.

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