Skip to main content
30th January 2023

Average wages for hospitality workers have risen 53% in the past 10 years – the highest of any industry in the UK

  • Minimum wage increasing and recent shortages of overseas workers have pushed wages higher
  • Construction workers see 39% increase in average pay over the last 10 years

The fastest-rising wages in the UK over the past decade have been in the hospitality sector*, with average weekly earnings for full-time workers rising 53% from £328 per week in 2012 to £502 per week in 2022**, says Hazlewoods, Chartered Accountants and Business Advisers (see full table below).

Hospitality workers have also experienced the fastest wage inflation in the past year, with average weekly earnings jumping 23% from £409 in 2021to £502 in 2022.

The average hospitality worker has experienced four times as much wage inflation as the UK’s average worker, with average wages increasing 4.9% from £696 per week in 2021 to £729 in 2022.

Rebecca Copping, Associate Partner at Hazlewoods, says the increase in wages over the past decade is partly due to rises in the National Minimum Wage. This figure has risen by 53% in the last ten years, from £6.19 per hour in 2012 to £9.50 in 2022.

Wage inflation in the hospitality sector in the past year has also been fuelled  by labour shortages, with Brexit restrictions reducing the number of workers coming to the UK from the EU. Under the UK’s new immigration system, overseas workers must apply for a Skilled Worker visa. However, relatively few jobs in hospitality meet the skill and salary criteria required.

As a result of these shortages, employers have been forced to increase wages to attract British and Irish nationals to these positions.

Rebecca Copping says: “Hospitality workers have seen minimum wage rises and Brexit combine to drive up their wages sharply over the past ten years.”

“Recruiting from what is a now a finite pool of workers in a much more competitive market has mean pay levels have had to increase markedly.”

“Higher wages are good news for the staff in the sector but they are putting the industry’s weak margins under even greater pressure.”

Construction workers see second highest wage inflation over the past year

The construction industry has experienced a 38.7% rise in average pay over the past ten years, rising from £560 per week in 2012 to £777 in 2022. Weekly earnings have risen 9.6% in the past year, the second highest of any industry sector in the UK.

Weekly pay has been inflated by existing worker shortages being exacerbated by a lack of new entrants and apprenticeships into the sector, as well as a reduction in  labour coming into the UK from the EU.

The demand for experienced labourers with expertise in areas such as bricklaying and plastering is also forcing construction firms to compete with one another, allowing in-demand workers to pick and choose projects offering the highest wages.

Rebecca Copping says: “Construction businesses everywhere are being forced to pay higher and higher staff costs just to get projects over the line.”

“Intense competition among employers for skilled workers has driven up weekly pay rates across the board.”

Click Here for the 10 Industries with the highest 10-year wage inflation graphic

* those working in accommodation and food services

** Source: ONS. Year end 30 September


About Hazlewoods:

Hazlewoods is a UK top 30 accountancy firm, providing accountancy and business advisory services.

Founded in Cheltenham in 1919, Hazlewoods now has 29 partners and more than 350 staff.

Hazlewoods are proud to have won the 2017 Best Tax Practice in a Regional Firm in the Tolley’s Taxation Awards and the British Accountancy Awards 2017 Top Tax Team of the Year.

Press release from Hazlewoods.


Rebecca Copping

Associate Partner

Hazlewoods LLP

01242 680000