South east office staff bag best pay rises

Office
managers and professional secretaries benefited from the biggest salary
increases among office staff last year, research finds.

A
survey by recruitment company Adecco finds that staff in these roles enjoyed
pay rises of 9.1 per cent and 7.7 per cent respectively compared to the average
pay increase among office staff of 3.9 per cent.

Call
centre and switchboard staff received the lowest pay rises, averaging only 0.7
per cent and 0.1 per cent.

Employees
in London and the South East in the commercial sector received the best pay
hikes in the UK. Office workers in central London in this sector saw salaries
increase by 5.5 per cent, from and average of £18,643 in January 2001 to
£19,679 in January 2002.

This
compares to office workers in Scotland whose average earnings are £13,189
despite pay increases of 3.5 per cent last year.

The
research, based on analysis of more than 30,000 job placements, also reveals
that office workers in the West Midlands working in the commercial and light
industrial sectors received average pay increases of 5.4 per cent and 5.5 per
cent respectively.

Pay
levels in the industrial sector continues to fall behind other sectors, with
average salaries failing to keep up with inflation, increasing by 0.9 per cent
from £12,631in january 2001 to £12,742 in January 2002.

Richard
MacMillan, managing director of Adecco UK, said: "Workers with managerial,
language and advanced IT skills are in the greatest demand and there are
shortages are in London, the South East and the West Midlands."

By Ben Willmott

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