2020 was a historic year, one that brought uncertainty in every way. However, with the Covid-19 vaccine steadily being rolled out, industries are beginning to recover after the turmoil. During 2020, an estimated 11.6 million jobs were put on furlough, leaving many industries struggling while others thrived. To look into this further, UK cloud payroll specialists, Staffology, investigated how the pandemic affected salaries for various industries around the nation.

With lockdown regulations forcing people to stay at home, the industry of accommodation and food services (hospitality) was hit the hardest by the pandemic, taking a -3.59% hit to salary between 2019 and 2020, which lowered the average salary from £1,040 per month to £1,004 per month. Across the year, those working in hospitality had over £400 knocked off their salary.

The industry that noticed a surge in salaries during the pandemic was manufacturing, which includes textiles, leather and clothing, seeing a +4.66% rise from 2019 to 2020, going from £430 per week to £451 per week. The Office of National Statistics stated that online sales were reaching higher than usual levels over the course of the pandemic, with online purchases representing 28.5% of sales in October, compared to 20.1% in February.

Since 2019, the highest-paid industry has consistently been financial and insurance, sitting at an average weekly salary of £1,463 in 2021, 13.5% more than it was in 2019.

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The five lowest-earning industries in 2021:

  1. Accommodation and Food Service Activities – £1,008 p/month
  2. Retail Trade and Repairs – £1,416 p/month
  3. Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing – £1,652 p/month
  4. Other Service Activities – £1,736 p/month
  5. Manufacturing – Textiles, Leather and Clothing – £1,764 p/month

The five highest-earning industries in 2021:

  1. Financial and Insurance Activities – £5,852 p/month
  2. Mining and Quarrying – £4,844 p/month
  3. Information and Communication – £3,904 p/month
  4. Manufacturing – Chemicals and Man-Made Fibres – £3,536 p/month
  5. Professional, Scientific and Technical Activities – £3,348 p/month

Expert technical payroll writer Caine Bird said, “Covid-19 has had a significant impact on the world in multiple respects. However, our analysis of the most recent government data highlights how it impacted salaries on a sliding scale. Despite reduced salaries over the past year, the industries that were hit the hardest by the pandemic – the arts, retail, and hospitality – have all experienced a growth in their weekly salaries during 2021, which is great to see. In fact, the arts were the second fastest-growing industry in salary from 2020 to 2021, increasing by 11%.”

Comparing the average weekly salaries of the last 10 years and 2021 alone, the industries that have grown the most are education, financial and insurance activities, and administrative and support service activities. Conversely, the three industries with the lowest growth rates are mining and quarrying, accommodation and food service activities, and transport and storage, all having grown less than 7% across the decade.

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