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Report reveals unprecedented UK wage increase disparity by region

Mark Inskip, CEO - Matrix

As Premier Inn launches a solution to its staffing crisis by making ‘targeted’ pay increases across the business to alleviate their recruitment issues a new report from recruitment technology business Matrix has revealed the impact of wage inflation by region across its UK client base, with the biggest PAYE pay rate increases recorded in Southwest England, West Midlands and Northwest England, over the past 12 months.

Pay increases are on the national agenda presently with workers across the UK striking for better working conditions which, of course, includes fair pay for the work they do.

The report cites evidence showing that, across its client base, workers PAYE pay rates have increased 12.8% in the past four years (from £20.09 to £22.66) due to higher living costs. The biggest peak was recorded in January 2021 (rising from £20.18 to £22.66), with a significant peak in July 2021. By March 2022, PAYE pay rates reached £24.86 per hour.

Regionally across the UK, the biggest PAYE pay rate increases were recorded in Southwest England (+41.4%), West Midlands (+25.9%), Northwest England (+24.2%), Wales (+19.2%) and Southeast England (16.7%) – with a 5.4% increase in London.

Taking a sample set of eight of its long-standing clients that Matrix has been working with over the past four years, areas which recorded price growth include: Slough (+49.5%), Thurrock (+23.5%), Derby (22.9%), Liverpool (+17.4%), Lambeth (+16.1%), Cardiff (+13.0%), Waltham Forest (+11%) and Worcestershire (+7.7%).

The most significant job categories, within that same sample set, recording the biggest increase of pay, include: social care qualified (+12.6%), social care non qualified (+9.7%), manual labour (+9.7%) and admin and clerical work (+7.6%).

“We have started to take a view on inflation in our pricing submissions, but the increases over the past 12 months have been unprecedented,” said Mark Inskip, CEO of Matrix. “I was delighted to read the Premier Inn news as at least they are trying to come up with a solution, even if it works or not. Our report shows that the wage increase issue has come back with a vengeance but that looks quite different by region. With the consumer price index rising by 4.9%, it costs more to live now: more expenses, higher food costs, and with employers now paying more national insurance, staff want increases as reported in this story in Metro today.”

 The company revealed, as an example, that social workers’ pay rates increased massively recently so what they did in London was to agree a pay cap that had to be adhered to by the local councils. Using the available Matrix data allowed the company to truly understand disparities and intimately conclude on a fair cap, which in turn, could help in the long term to alleviate the wage increase disparity problem if this initiative was to be utilised elsewhere and in more sectors.


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