Improve your staff recruitment and retention with the Salary & Benefits 2023/24 benchmarking report, in partnership with Hewett Recruitment

Businesses are currently operating in an incredibly tight labour market and are doing their best to survive amongst the cost of doing business crisis due to spiralling energy costs. The competitive labour market is impacting businesses ability to invest and grow.

The latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) labour market overview has reported on UK employment rate, number of payrolled employees and much more. The estimate of payrolled employees for August 2023 is largely unchanged on the month, down 1,000 on the revised July 2023 figure, to 30.1 million. The August 2023 estimate should be treated as a provisional estimate and is likely to be revised when more data are received next month.

The unemployment rate for May to July 2023 increased by 0.5 percentage points on the quarter to 4.3%. The increase in unemployment was largely driven by people unemployed for up to 12 months.

In June to August 2023, the estimated number of vacancies fell by 64,000 on the quarter to 989,000. Vacancies fell on the quarter for the 14th consecutive period.

Annual growth in regular pay (excluding bonuses) was 7.8% in May to July 2023, the same as the previous 3-month period and is the highest regular annual growth rate since comparable records began in 2001.

With many local businesses still experiencing challenges trying to recruit locally, in order to maintain business growth. Addressing the local and regional skills gap remains one of the Chamber’s priorities as we continue to support businesses in the months ahead.

Working in partnership with Hewett Recruitment, the Chamber of Commerce will once again produce the annual Salary & Benefits 2023/24 report. This report will benchmark the salaries and the benefits that company’s offer across the two counties in order to support businesses attract and retain staff. The report will include the minimum, maximum and average salaries of a variety of roles across the two counties. At a time when provisions for flexible working and annual leave allowance are as important to candidates as salaries, it has never been more crucial to compare the salary and benefits your business offers.

Visit to complete the survey. The Salary and Benefits 2023/24 Report, in partnership with Hewett Recruitment, will launch at our HR Forum in February 2024.

If you have any questions regarding the survey, please contact the Policy department at