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Average salary growth in the North triple that of the South

Looking at the north as a whole by taking an average of Yorkshire & The Humber, North East England (5.7%) and the North West (5.0%) shows that the average year-on-year salary growth is 5.9%, nearly three times higher than the 2.3% average of the southern regions of the UK, London (0.9%), South East England (1.9%), Eastern England (3.0%) and South West England (3.0%). London had the lowest average annual improvement to advertised salaries in June, while Scotland witnessed a decrease.

Table 3: Biggest improvers – UK regions by average salary


Average Salary

Salary % 12 Month Change

Yorkshire and The Humber



North East England



North West England



East Midlands



South West England



Eastern England






South East England



West Midlands



Northern Ireland













Andrew Hunter explains,“The north is starting to come into its own. Northern employers are expanding salaries far faster than in the south, to try to attract top talent to their expanding businesses. But these things don’t happen overnight, and there are bound to be some delays and growing pains. Infrastructure and housing have as much a part to play in building the north into a well-oiled economic machine as much as attractive salaries. Looking forward, it won’t be long until more people start to realise that the cost of living is seriously tipped in their favour if they can find the right job in places like Manchester, Liverpool and Newcastle.”

Northern fault-line makes it tough to get ahead

Despite salary growth in the north, there is still a clear gap between north and south in terms of competition for jobs. Competition remains stubbornly high in areas like Sunderland, with as many as 4.87 jobseekers per vacancy – over seven times the national average. However, Manchester has cemented its place in the top ten best cities to find a job, with just 0.31 jobseekers per vacancy.

Andrew Hunter concludes, “Manchester is one of the exceptions to the rule, buoyed by a thriving professional services industry which has created many new jobs in areas like law, finance and consulting. Many of our northern cities are making a comeback and competition for jobs is falling fast – albeit not to the same extent that we see in Cambridge.

“The struggle isn’t in pulling these recovering cities up to scratch – it’s working out how to better support those places where businesses are still struggling to flourish and provide opportunities to the local area, cities like Sunderland and Hull. Manchester might be the wunderkind of the Chancellor’s & lsquo;Northern Powerhouse’ scheme, but it’s important not to let one shining example mask a more deeply-rooted problem.”


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