Resilient UK economy drives 4% rise in salaries in 2016

  • Steady economic growth across the country sees salaries in London and the South East expected to grow 5% and the Midlands likewise, while professionals in the North West can expect an average rise of 4%.
  • Professions enjoying the highest growth are operations at 7%, risk and legal at 6%, and IT and procurement at 5%.

In the wake of rising business confidence throughout the second half of 2015, salaries for professional roles in the UK are expected to rise by an average of 4% in 2016, with major hubs including London, Birmingham and Manchester all anticipating healthy growth.

The results of the Robert Walters Salary Survey2 reveal that employers are confident regarding prospects for 2016 and are prepared to offer competitive compensation to secure top professionals.


With businesses looking to support expansion, salaries for junior marketing roles are rising with an average increase of 7%. Other professions expecting strong salary growth spurred by business confidence are IT at an average of 5% and legal at an average of 6%.


Among banks and other financial services employers, demand has been consistently high for professionals in regulatory functions. This will drive salary increases for legal and risk roles in 2016 as employers struggle to attract and retain top professionals in these high priority positions, with salaries up 6% across both professions.

Chris Hickey, Robert Walters CEO UK, Middle East and Africa comments:

“Despite a significant increase in entry level hiring in 2015, financial services employers are still facing a shortfall of talent for specialists in compliance and legal fields. The result of this is an environment that strongly favours jobseekers with significant growth in salaries for those with experience implementing new regulatory frameworks.”

“Risk specialists are also set to enjoy salary rises. With financial services employers facing scrutiny from regulators, demand for risk professionals is high and salaries will increase to reflect this.”


London and the Midlands are anticipating the largest overall salary increases in 2016 at 5%, with IT roles in the Midlands expected to see salaries rise by 6%. In the North West salaries are expected to rise by 4% on average with certain roles within secretarial and support functions anticipating significant salary rises of up to 6% for executive assistants, and as much as 10% for junior professionals such as recruitment administrators.

Chris Poole, Robert Walters Managing Director – UK Regions, comments:

“The figures show that professionals in both financial services and commerce and industry in the UK regions are anticipating healthy salary growth in 2016.”

“A number of major banks and financial employers have relocated mid and back office functions to Birmingham and Manchester, creating significant demand for compliance and legal professionals. In the Midlands, demand for legal staff to oversee regulatory compliance projects has lead to predictions of contract worker’s salaries rising up to 10%.”

“In the North West, robust business growth has driven demand for secretarial and support staff who have the broad range of skills and experience necessary to play key roles in helping firms looking to expand.”

To request further information, please contact Alan O’Doherty on 0207 509 8839 or

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