Monday 18 January 2021 6:00 am

Salaries for those who kept their jobs through pandemic rose in 2020, says Reed

Staff writer

Both salaries and the job market are showing encouraging signs of recovery, according to data released today by Reed.

And despite the Covid-19 pandemic and many thousands of redundancies across the UK economy, advertised salaries rose 2.3 per cent higher than inflation in 2020.

Read more: UK set for double-dip recession as GDP plummets 2.6 per cent

All regions, including London, saw a growth in average salaries, but some of the regions that were the hardest hit economically by the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns showed the highest level of salary increases.

The North East reported a 7.95 per cent increase in average salaries, Wales a 6.4 per cent increase, and the South West a 5.32 per cent increase, Reed data showed.

The highest performing sector was sales, with a 6.4 per cent growth in average salaries, followed by the procurement and supply chain sector with a 4.5 per cent increase.

Despite experiencing significant disruption, the hospitality and leisure sector showed an average salary growth of four per cent.  

These pay rises occurred in the face of slow inflation, with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) 12-month rate falling to just 0.3 per cent in November 2020, from 0.7 per cent in October 2020.

The Office for Budget Responsibility is predicting it to stay below two per cent until 2025.

The job market is also showing tepid signs of recovery.

Vacancies were down 27 per cent on 2019 levels, but a jump in job vacancies was posted in the last quarter of 2020.

Roles showing the fastest rate of recovery include warehouse operatives, with an 88 per cent increase, and delivery drivers with a 55 per cent increase in job vacancies.

Read more: Major UK business body calls for furlough scheme extension to July

The other side of the pandemic

Reed chief executive James Reed said: “Our data is another positive sign that we are coming out the other side of this economic crisis.

“Despite facing a global pandemic in 2020, UK salaries have held their own and, in many cases, seen significant increases.

“Even the hardest hit sectors and regions have shown positive growth in salaries and, together with the recent increase in the number of job postings, this gives us confidence that we will leave this recession behind us this year.

“We have seen the vaccination programme gather pace already, this combined with a trade agreement with the EU has given businesses more confidence about hiring.”