Business Finance: Mark Prince examines salary trends

Mark Prince of KPMG.

Mark Prince of KPMG. - Credit: Archant

This newspaper recently reported that 23% of jobs outside London pay less than the living wage, as opposed to just 19% in the capital.

But for those of us who live outside London, the Living Wage is not the only measure of employee earnings and recruitment trends.

KPMG’s most recent Report on Jobs, covering the month of September, revealed that permanent salaries across the whole of the south of England have continued to grow at a faster rate than the UK average.

This is part of a defined trend, as permanent salaries across the southern half of the country have increased every month since July 2012. Pay rates for temporary jobs also looked positive, and began to pick up from the seven-month low seen in August.

Although the region fared less well than the Midlands, which saw the most dramatic increase in permanent starting salaries in any region, it did better than the capital. In terms of both temporary and permanent pay, London slumped while salaries across the South continued to grow.

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The region also performed better than London in terms of temporary candidate availability, meaning the number of potential employees with the right skills, as the capital suffered the quickest reduction in that rate for the first time in four months. The otherwise high-achieving Midlands was also outperformed by the South in terms of the supply of permanent candidates, as the former region saw a sharp contraction in the number of available potential employees.

The South also did comparatively well in permanent and temporary staff appointments. It grew slightly slower than the North and a lot slower than the Midlands, but performed better than London in terms of permanent staff appointments and close to the UK average in both permanent and temporary staff placements.

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So, while it’s true that more jobs in London pay the Living Wage than outside it, the picture looks a lot rosier for the South – for both employees and employers. The challenge for employers will be to make the best use of these motivated new hires and talented potential recruits to help their businesses grow and future-proof their operations.

: : Mark Prince is head of enterprise for KPMG in East Anglia.

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