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Nigel Wright report highlights 3% increase in North East salaries in the last 12 months


North East employees have enjoyed a 3% pay rise in the past year, according to Nigel Wright’s latest report.

The leading recruitment consultancy surveyed over 1,000 North East respondents working across different disciplines and levels, in sectors such as industrial and manufacturing; business support and professional services; public and third sectors; consumer; and digital and creative.

Using their large data set, the company gathered information on the average salary and benefits people receive within the region, as well as data on job satisfaction, the reasons for leaving jobs, gender differences in pay, and the methods used by candidates in their job search.

Some of the highlights of the survey are outlined below:


• Executive salaries saw the biggest increase at 4.2% on average, followed by HR at 3.9%. Other disciplines’ salaries generally increased by between 2.8% and 3.2% - supply chain and procurement, in particular, is increasing in prominence in organisations, while IT salaries remained static;

• Contractor day rates are up by almost 10%. Contractors tend to work in Finance, IT and Operations across all levels;

• The gap between male and female salaries increased again by 1% to 12%, which is above the national average of 9.4%; it is important to note, however, that women often work a 3-4 working day week, or reduced hours, to account for childcare arrangements;

• Satisfaction of remuneration has stayed fairly static, increasing on average by 1% compared to last year.


• Pension contributions have remained static with average employer contributions fixed at 7% and employee contributions fixed at 5%; 

• There were slightly less people indicating they received a guaranteed bonus in this year’s survey, but the average increased by 2% from 5% to 7%;

• Company bonuses remained static at 8%, while personal bonuses increased, on average, by 1% to 10%; although, again, fewer people received them during the last 12 months;

• Candidates open to a new job clearly indicated that flexible working conditions would be a major factor in persuading them to move on. Flexible working, as a benefit, has increased in popularity by 11% in the last 12 months.

Job satisfaction

• Overall job satisfaction has declined by 12% during the last twelve months;

• At the executive level, however, those claiming to be ‘very satisfied’ in their job increased by 16%.

Searching for jobs

• For job seekers, using job boards and social networking sites to find employment have both increased again (7% and 6% respectively).

• Utilising social networking sites when searching for a job has increased by 30% in our survey between 2010 and 2015 and is now an integral part of the recruitment process.  

Paul Wilson, CEO at Nigel Wright, commented on the findings;

“The 3% increase in North East salaries is a clear indication of the improving market conditions we’ve been experiencing in the past year. The economy is growing and companies have started rewarding people again.

The 12% decline in job satisfaction is an interesting figure; essentially, it means that after years of prioritising job security over career development, candidates are becoming more open to revaluating their careers and looking for better conditions elsewhere. 

It is very much a candidate-driven market, and as confidence levels improve, candidate shortages become more widespread. The skills shortage issue is particularly prominent in the region; competition for the best people has been heightened and companies are willing to pay for the best talent.

Finally, as more and more individuals are now using online media in their job search, it is increasingly important for businesses to invest in their employer brand and in resources that can maximise their potential of attracting the best candidates.”

The full report can be downloaded from here.