Despite December normally being a quiet time of year for recruitment and pay increases, HR news reported this month that salaries had risen in December of last year.

With that in mind, what do salaries in the UK look like overall? North East cleaning company, DCS Multiserve have compiled some data surrounding the UK salaries, including:

  • The regions with the highest – and lowest – salaries
  • The job titles with the highest – and lowest – salaries
  • Industries, job roles, and genders that pay below the National Minimum Wage

National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage
The government introduced a National Living Wage in April 2016 which applied to only over 25’s. This was different to the National Minimum Wage – this is the minimum amount of money that any worker is entitled to per hour of work.

Current National Minimum Wage (NMW) per hour

  • Apprentice: £3.40
  • Under 18s: £4
  • 18-20: £5.55
  • 21-24: £6.95

National (NLW) per hour

  • 25 and over: £7.20


People with part-time jobs are more likely not to be paid the NMW or NLW

In October 2016, it was revealed by the Office of National Statistics that 1.3% of UK jobs (362,000) pay less than the National Minimum Wage or the National Living Wage to employees ages 16 or over. Of which 2.4% of those are part-time jobs, whereas only 0.9% are full-time jobs.

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People ages 18-20 are most likely to be paid less than the NMW or NLW
Of the 362,000 jobs paying less than the NMW or NLW:

  • 1% of jobs are paying less to 18-20 year olds
  • 4% of jobs for 21-24 year olds pay under
  • 3% of jobs are paying less to those aged 25 and over

Women are more likely to be paid less than the NMW or NLW

  • 7% of all jobs worked by women are paid less than the NMW, in comparison to only 1% of jobs worked by men. That equates to 230,000 jobs contrasted with 132,000.
  • 1% of full-time jobs worked by women pay less than the national minimum wage whereas just 0.7% full time jobs worked by men are paid less than the NMW. That is essentially 90,000 jobs contrasted with 88,000.
  • With regards to part-time workers, 2.4% worked by women are paid less than minimum wage compared to 2.3% jobs worked by men. That means 140,000 jobs with only 44,000 for men.

Workers in the West Midlands and Yorkshire and Humber are most likely to be paid less than the NMW or NLW

  • The west Midlands and Yorkshire and Humber pay less than minimum wage in 1.7% of their jobs. This equates to 40,000 and 38,000 jobs respectively.
  • The regions that are the least-likely regions to pay employees less than minimum wage are London (0.9%) and Scotland (1%) – equating to 35,000 and 25,000.

Hairdressing and childcare are most likely to pay below NMW or NLW

  • Approximately 8,000 hairdressing jobs (7%) pay below the NMW.
  • Around 9,000 childcare jobs pay below the NMW – this equates to 4% of childcare jobs.
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Salaries and job titles
The Independent recently revealed the highest paid jobs of 2016. And the results?

The top five best paid jobs comprised of:

  1. Taking first place are the chief executives and senior officials earning around £85.3K per year.
  2. Closely following in second place are pilots and flight engineers taking home £85K per year.
  3. Air traffic controllers take third earning a desirable £80K per year.
  4. Earning around £75.5K per year are Transport Associate professionals.
  5. In fifth position are marketing and sales professionals who can earn up around £70K per year.

And the top five worst paid jobs? Business Insider UK reported:

  1. The worst paid job goes to waiting staff who tend to take home around £266.40 per week. This equates to £13,852.80 per year.
  2. Theme Park Attendants take second place earning £273.30 per week which is £14,211.60 per year.
  3. Bar staff are paid around £274.00 per week – £14,248 per year.
  4. In fourth place are hairdressers and barbers who earn £274.10 per week without tips – equating to £14,253.20 per year.
  5. A dry cleaner earns around £275.40 per week. This equates to £14,320.80 per year.

Salaries and regions

The average salary of UK regions is detailed below, ordered from highest to lowest*


Weekly: £544.02

Annual: £ 28,289.30

Greater South East

Weekly: £531.89

Annual: £27,658.25

South West

Weekly: £500.38

Annual: £26,019.93

East Midlands

Weekly: £478.86

Annual: £24,900.72

West Midlands

Weekly: £474.125

Annual: £24,654.5

North East

Weekly: £461.90

Annual: £24,013.60

North West

Weekly: £458.18

Annual: £23825.24


Weekly: £454.13

Annual: £23614.93


Weekly: £453.37

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Annual: £23,575.07

Northern Ireland

Weekly: £448.10

Annual: £23,301.20


  • The region of Scotland takes first place title for having the highest average salary in the UK, averaging at £28,289.30 per annum.
  • Northern Ireland have the lowest average salary in the UK, averaging at £23,301.20.
  • This equates to a difference of £4,988.10 between the average highest paid region and the lowest paid region.
  • Per the above data, the average UK salary is £24,985.27 – the closest region to this is the East Midlands at an annual salary of £24,900.72.