Editors Pick

Why you need to have a happy workforce

24th February 2022

Wages increased overall in 2021 – how does your wage compare to larger trends?

Many factors contribute to the wage someone earns. It can come down to age, experience, demand in specific industries, an employee’s negotiation skills, and, sadly, gender and race. The pandemic seriously affected many workers in 2020, and research from Instant Offices shows that there has been a bounce-back in the form of 4.3% higher earnings across the board in 2021.

The construction industry saw the highest wage increases, with workers earning 16.8% more on average in 2021 than 2020. The manufacturing, automotive, transportation, and service industries also saw higher wages of about 7-8%.

A major concern throughout the pandemic has been the number of recent graduates unable to find work in their fields, and who faced lower than normal starting salaries. Now, the average starting salary for UK graduates is between £21,000 and £25,000.

For a number of age groups, pay increased in 2021. People between 16 and 17 years old saw an average pay rise of 12.5% in 2020, with the 18-21 and 60+ age groups seeing an average increase of 3.3%. 

As someone ages, it stands to reason that their skills and experience will develop, which should come with the benefit of increased pay. A major factor in the great resignation has been the issue of raises failing to match increases in inflation, leading to a reduction in pay in effect. This has led many workers to re-evaluate their priorities and consider changing roles or even careers.

According to Instant Offices, UK workers are now prioritising “flexibility and convenience” over higher wages. 60% of workers surveyed state that they are more likely to take on a role which offers hybrid and remote working options over a more traditional role, even if that role comes with higher pay.

If you’re looking to stay in your current role but you’re unsatisfied with your pay, Instant Offices has some recommendations. The most obvious way to get a raise is to ask for one, but this isn’t always easy – therefore, it is helpful to keep track of your recent achievements with your company in order to have something tangible to bargain with. 

It is also important to research what other people in your field are making and see how your wage measures up. Especially in cases where wage discrepancies appear to be linked to race, gender, or sexual orientation, it is important to address these issues, even if that means reporting an unjust employer or resigning from your position.

Another option to increase your chances of a raise is formal training. By voluntarily taking part in further study in your field, you show dedication and develop superior skills which should translate to higher pay if your employer is just.

In this period of transition many are looking for new roles, but plenty of workers are happy to stay in their current jobs provided a decent wage and flexible work options. Companies who wish to keep their employees happy in their roles will need to provide meaningful raises and more individual options for work in order to keep up with the changing expectations of the post-pandemic workforce.

Source: Instant Offices

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