In this section of the guide, we take a closer look at wages and how the market has affected wage growth, specifically in this region. As previously stated, skills shortages and economic growth have combined to ensure that employers are now competing for talent in almost every sector and at all levels, from unskilled labour to senior management roles. Nationally, regular wages increased across the board by approx’ 3.1% from August 2017 to August 2018, representing the largest annual growth curve since 2008. From an average weekly wage perspective, this increase meant the average wage increased from £477 in 2017 to £492 per week. We anticipate this trend will continue into 2019 as net migration decreases and employers look to improve their wage offering. To evidence this, in October 2018 Amazon increased the hourly wages paid to their warehouse workers. Rates paid to these workers outside of London (including their local distribution centres) increased from £8.00 to £9.50 per hour, making them a very desirable choice based on wages alone. National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage The National Minimum Wage is the legal minimum that you must pay an employee, based upon their age. The chart below shows the current rates and the new rates that come into place from April 2019. Age 25+ 21 to 24 18 to 20 Under 18 Apprentice April 2018 £7.83 £7.38 £5.90 £4.20 £3.70 April 2019 £8.21 £7.70 £6.15 £4.35 £3.90 The National Living Wage The National Living Wage is a voluntary wage ideal, based upon cost of living calculations. Many businesses have opted into the scheme and can therefore advertise themselves as offering the ‘Living Wage’ as opposed to the ‘Minimum Wage’. The Living Wage in this area is £8.75 per hour so, based on a 37 hour working week, this would mean an annual salary of £16,835.* Oxford Living Wage Due to the higher cost of living in Oxford city compared to the rest of the region, there has been an alternative Oxford Living Wage calculated. This has been set at £9.69 per hour for 2018, therefore based on a 37 hour working week, the salary would be £18,644.* Again, these schemes are voluntary and there is no legal requirement to pay employees the Living Wage. Currently, more than 3,500 employers across the UK have signed up to the Living Wage scheme and would factor this in when performing salary reviews. Of these 3,500 employers, when surveyed, 80% believe that by paying the Living Wage, they have seen improvements in the quality of work from their employees, greater loyalty and customer service. This has been measured by fewer complaints, reductions in absenteeism (by up to 25% in some cases), improved staff retention and an overall reduction in human resource costs. This does not take into account other, less measurable benefits to the organisations’ reputation and potentially increased ability to attract new applicants.* WAGES * Statistics provided by Livingwage.org, 2018 3