Trading Economics’ latest report has noted a significant increase in average weekly earnings in both the US and UK. The UK saw a jump of 7.3% in the previous July, whereas the US saw a 14.56% increase the previous year back in April, and a10.1% increase in July.

So what is driving these figures up?

The report explains that several temporary factors have caused this increase in average weekly earnings, which also includes bonuses.

1. The influence of COVID-19 on the job market

At the beginning of the pandemic, particularly the months that these figures are based on, earnings were pushed down, affected by the spread of the virus. This means that the figures now are considerably higher than the previous year.

2. A drop in candidate supply & high demand for staff

As KPMG states, candidate numbers fell significantly, perhaps due to continuing uncertainty and concerns over job security. There is also the influence of Brexit as a key factor in the lessening supply of workers in the UK market. As a result of this, there has been a sharp surge in the demand for new hires, which has subsequently driven up salaries.

3. A fall in the number of lower-paid employee jobs

In the last year, the staffing industry has seen a significant reduction in the number of lower-paid roles, which has pushed up the average earnings. This is likely a consequence of the pandemic, where nearly a third of lower-paid employees lost their jobs or were furloughed, compared the 10% of top earners.

Final Thoughts

With the world emerging from the pandemic, these figures aren’t necessarily a surprise. If you consider why the figures were so low last year (people losing their jobs or being furloughed) and the low number of job seekers in relation to the high demand for workers this year, the figures are hardly ground-breaking.

However, these figures promise a positive outlook for the job markets of both the US and UK, particularly for job seekers.

“With salaries for new hires increasing at their quickest rate in 24 years and a sharp rise in permanent placements in July, job seekers should be taking advantage of the buoyant market to land their dream role.” Claire Warnes, Partner and Head of Education, Skills and Productivity at KPMG UK

Even though we can expect a ‘downward pressure on pay to come’, this boost in average weekly earnings gives hope to a more stable future for work and employment following a very uncertain time.

Erica Tomlin

Erica Tomlin


Erica Tomlin is a writer for the US Tech group. An experienced technology marketer, she began her career in the entertainments industry before transitioning across to commercial video production. Today, she is a Program Manager for US Tech Solutions and works as part of the marketing team to bring personality and entertainment to brand communications. Her interests include Women in IT, Diversity and Inclusivity in the Workplace, and the Future of Work. She can be reached via LinkedIn.