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Excerpted from the United Kingdom Career Guide

General Trends

After several extremely difficult years, the UK’s economy is finally on the road to recovery. In fact, Great Britain is predicted to have one of the world’s best-performing economies this year. Unemployment is at a five-year low and average earnings are up 1.7 percent from a year ago. For the first time in four years, wage increases have exceeded the rate of inflation.

Employment Outlook

According to the latest Labour Market Outlook (LMO) report from human resources professional group CIPD, employment in the UK is currently at a six-and-a-half-year high.

In a reversal of ‘offshoring,’ a practice where companies based some of their operations overseas to cut costs, a growing number of British business are bringing their production facilities and offices back into the country. A recent report from UK manufacturers’ association EEF reveals that, over the past three years, one in six companies over a range of sectors, including business services, textiles and advanced manufacturing, has ‘reshored’ production. Reasons for this include easier communications with customers, more reliable supply chains and rising wages overseas. Another result of reshoring is more jobs; PricewaterhouseCoopers estimates that reshoring could create around 100,000 to 200,000 extra jobs in the UK over the next ten years.

Areas of Job Promise

In a recent ranking released by British job search engine Adzuna, the best jobs to have in the UK over the past year in terms of job security, salary and income growth potential were translators, web developers and surgeons. Web developer was also ranked as one of the most stress-free jobs in the country based on employer demand, wages and working environment.


    Regular pay (excluding bonuses) for employees in Great Britain averages 449 GBP per week, according to the Office of National Statistics; including bonuses, it is 474 GBP. Year-over-year, total pay for the private sector rose by 1.8 percent and by 0.7 percent for the public sector. Overall, wages, excluding bonuses, were up by 1.3 percent from the previous year.

    With an expanding economy, starting salaries for permanent staff are on the rise in an effort to retain skilled workers. However, wage levels still remain lower than pre-recession levels for both the public and private sectors. Nevertheless, 46 percent of surveyed employers in CIPD’s Labour Market Outlook survey indicated they would be willing to pay more to attract new talent.

    This is just a short sample of what you’ll find in over 100 pages of information in the complete United Kingdom Guide.

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