Food and Drink update: Hazlewoods research shows average wages for hospitality workers have risen 53% in the past 10 years

Published: Wednesday 1 February 2023

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**.

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

Associate Partner, Rebecca Copping 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 now a finite pool of workers in a much more competitive market has meant 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.”

Join us to discuss!

Hazlewoods will be holding a lunch with Head of Economics for HSBC UK’s Commercial Banking Business, Mark Berrisford Smith on Thursday 2 March 2023 for business leaders in the food and drink industry. Mark will be providing incredible, humorous and thought-provoking insight into the economy and how changes will affect businesses across the food and drink sector in the future.

If you would be interested in attending, please email to reserve your place.

The 10 Industries with the highest 10-year wage inflation

Rank Industry Average weekly earnings 2012 Average weekly earnings 2021 Average weekly earnings 2022 10 year change  1 year change
1 Hospitality £328 £409 £502 53.1% 22.8%
2 Wholesale, reatail and repair of motor vehicles £408 £545 £584 43.2% 7.1%
3 Construction £560 £709 £777 38.7% 9.6%
4 Mining, energy and water supply £604 £799 £828 37.1% 3.6%
5 All full-time employees £559 £696 £729 30.5% 4.9%
6 Administrative and support services £489 £599 £629 28.6% 4.9%
7 Agriculture, forestry and fishing £417 £493 £530 27.2% 7.5%
8 Financial, insurance and real estate activities £754 £928 £955 26.6% 3.0%
9 Information and communication £773 £986 £974 26.0% -1.3%
10 Human health and social work activities £515 £601 £648 26.0% 7.9%


Content image: /uploads/team/unknown.jpg Rebecca Copping
Rebecca Copping
Partner, Audit and Assurance
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