Recruit Sales Staff

Search Jobs

Regional Job Growth in the United Kingdom - 2018

2018 was an interesting year for the UK economy, experiencing GDP growth of 1.4%, down from 1.7% in 2017 and the slowest economic growth the country has seen since 2012.1

Despite this, other economic indicators show a healthy job market with unemployment falling in consecutive years since 2011 and another 427,000 jobs being created in the UK between 2017 and 2018.2

We’ve aggregated data from the Office for National Statistics alongside EMSI to provide a report into regional job growth in the United Kingdom in 2018.

Regional Job Growth – December 2018 vs 2017

Location Dec-17
Job Growth
Growth in Jobs
Yorkshire & The Humber 2,718,000 2,814,000 +96,000 +3.5%
North West 3,697,000 3,827,000 +130,000 +3.5%
South West 2,922,000 2,976,000 +54,000 +1.8%
South East 4,795,000 4,879,000 +84,000 +1.8%
East of England 3,216,000 3,267,000 +51,000 +1.6%
West Midlands 2,908,000 2,947,000 +39,000 +1.3%
London 5,931,000 6,000,000 +69,000 +1.2%
Northern Ireland 884,000 888,000 +4,000 +0.5%
North East 1,204,000 1,196,000 -8,000 -0.7%
Wales 1,458,000 1,446,000 -12,000 -0.8%
Scotland 2,717,000 2,692,000 -25,000 -0.9%
East Midlands 2,396,000 2,343,000 -53,000 -2.2%

Source: Office for National Statistics – Workforce Jobs 20193

What counts as a ‘job’ in ONS data?
The total number of jobs worked in an area; filled positions worked by ages 16 and over, working more than one hour per week.

Significantly, the report reviews where a job is worked, rather than the host, home, location of the worker.


Yorkshire & The Humber and the North West clearly led regional job growth in 2018, with a 3.5% increase in the amount of jobs year-on-year. In contrast, the East Midlands saw a significant decrease in employment of 2.2% over 2018, by far the biggest decrease in the UK.

‘Absolute’ number of jobs by region in the UK

Looking in absolute terms, the South East and London remain by a significant margin the largest regions by workforce in the UK, with Northern Ireland and Wales both having a small count of employed workers for their geographic size.

Location breakdowns & commentary

North West - leader of regional job growth in 2018. +3.5%

ONS data suggests that over 130,000 jobs were created in the North West in 2018, by far the leader of absolute job growth in the UK. The surge in job creation has also had a positive effect on employment rate; at it’s highest since records began according to accountancy firm Deloitte.

Many are pointing to a ‘Manchester media boom’ as a key factor in growth, with regeneration of the Manchester Docks seeing considerable investment with the creation of an employment hub in MediaCityUK4. The relocation of thousands of jobs within the BBC to MediaCityUK, alongside the move of ITV Granada to Manchester has had a ripple effect with organisations both large and small moving to the North West.


Yorkshire & the Humber– joint leader of proportional job growth in 2018. +3.5%

With growth of nearly 100,000 jobs year-on-year, 2018 was a very successful year economically for Yorkshire and the Humber.

Leeds, in particular, can be seen as a growing economic hub, where between 2013 and 2018 the number of jobs has increased by 10%. EMSI industry reports attribute strong city growth in the following sectors, looking at industry jobs change between 2015 and 2018:

·       Information & communications sectors, +19%

·       Transportation & storage industries, +14%

·       Construction activities, +14%

The growth of digital and creative agencies in Leeds, escaping the high rent costs of the capital are a key factor in the region’s growth.

East Midlands – largest decrease in jobs year-on-year. -2.2%

With a decrease in filled jobs of 53,000 in 2018 for the East Midlands, the region saw the biggest drop in workforce in the UK by a significant margin; over double the next net decrease in workers, Scotland.

Simon O’Neill, Managing Partner at EY in the Midlands, said: “The East Midlands is losing out to regions that have secured devolved powers from central government. Regions such as the West Midlands are showcasing how to make a success of devolution with GVA and employment performance above the UK average.”5

Employment growth is also forecasted to be slow or negative in 2019 and 2020, with the region lacking a growing employment hub with investment opportunities.

South East – good year-on-year job growth. +1.8%

Another year of positive job growth for the South East, where the ONS suggest that over 80,000 jobs were created in 2018. Outside of London, the South East is by far the largest economic hub with a workforce of nearly 5 million.

Economic success can be tied to great connections to commerce in the capital as well as a large number of aerospace and defence corporations in the territory.

Commentators point towards a ‘geographic imbalance’ in the UK, with criticism of policymakers for not addressing the gulf in economic disparity between the South East & London versus the North and regions outside of the core of the UK.6

Our report using ONS data would support this view, with over 30% of the UK workforce working in either London or the South East.

London – middling annual job growth. +1.2%

Over 2018, ONS data suggests the capital saw an increase in jobs of nearly 70,000: positive growth but not as high as the North West and Yorkshire and the Humber - in both absolute and relative terms.

Analysis from accountancy firm Ernst & Young points towards Brexit as a key factor in mixed job growth, with over 20 top financial services companies moving assets out of London7.

Despite this, London still by far has the largest regional workforce of nearly 6 million people; in context over 4 times the workforce of Wales.

Demand for top talent in the capital continues, with salaries and bonuses reflecting this. Our study into average bonus pay suggests that workers in London are likely to receive an average annual incentive pay over 3 times the national average.

To add to this, our study into regional sales earnings suggests that sales professionals in London are on average likely to receive a basic salary of 8% higher the national average.


About the data sources

ONS data source – the Office for National Statistics’ Workforce Jobs Survey is an aggregated report made up of:

  • 32,800 business short term employer surveys
  • A public sector employment survey with 1500 contributors
  • The labour force survey of 50,000 households

With a total sample size of over 83,000 inputs the Workforce Jobs Survey is the largest of its kind: intended to be representative of the entire population of the UK.


EMSI data source – EMSI use a collection of nine Government sources, aggregated and combined to provide a multi-layered cross check, updated year by year to give over 20 million data points on labour market conditions in the British economy.


Other cited sources



Recruit Sales Staff

Search Jobs


Milton Keynes
01908 061 400


01543 227973

Understood the type of person we were looking for and good follow ups - not too frequent.

Managing Director, bigHead Bonding Fasteners Ltd

Aaron Wallis has continuously provided us with suitable candidates that have been proactively sourced. Having used countless recruitment companies, Aaron Wallis are the only company that I can count on to deliver.

Managing Director, JARK Healthcare Recruitment

In an industry where people over promise and under deliver, Rob and his teams have consistently provided a high-quality service. It is great to deal with someone that has an excellent understanding of UK industry, and a passion for sales.

Sales Manager, TR Fasteners

We appointed Aaron Wallis in February and the successful candidate, out of the six which Aaron Wallis introduced, was able to join Alphametrics before the end of April. The whole process took less than three months. I would recommend Aaron Wallis’ services to others without hesitation.

Chief Financial Officer, Alphametrics

I have always found Rob to be very knowledgeable about our industry sector, and it is refreshing to see after all of these years that Rob continues to quickly and accurately understand my requirements.

HR and General Manager, THK

I really liked the YouTube presentations which made the service seem both simple and accessible. The company came to see me, and my management team, at short notice to present their service and I liked the support and advice that I received about maximising the results from the applicant.

Managing Director, Leisuresec plc

I have used Aaron Wallis to fill a number of our Sales Development Manager roles and I have found them to provide a very professional service. I will use their services again in future recruitment campaigns.

HR Business Partner, Greene King

Rob’s knowledge of the recruitment industry and his thoughts and how to make it better for his clients have always been eye opening. I would recommend Rob to anybody who is looking for a professional, knowledgeable and flexible recruitment specialist.

CEO, Friday Ad Online Services

Rob is a true recruitment professional that goes the extra mile that I have never experienced from any other recruitment agency before. If you need sales people call Rob or someone in his team, as they really are experts in sales recruitment.

Sales Director, Inside Business

I just wanted to thank you for your help with our recruitment process which went very smoothly and has – we hope – found us just the person for the job!

Managing Director, Citrefine International Ltd

Since joining DSGi, Rob has been a supplier of permanent staff and has performed to an extremely high standard, successfully filling 98% of roles he has worked on. If anyone is looking for a good sales and marketing based consultancy with an informal yet professional approach, I would recommend Rob.

Senior Recruitment Consultant, DSG International

I found Aaron Wallis to be very professional and efficient, taking time to understand the role and the type of candidate we were looking for. The candidates they put forward met our criteria and were of a high standard. The service they provided was exemplary and I would have no hesitation in recommending them, and will certainly consider using them again in the future.

HR Assistant, Fischer Connectors Ltd

We were impressed not only by the quality of candidates you found for us but also the level of information, preparation and qualification you put into the process. You continually kept us informed of each person’s feelings about the process, which is very important but often overlooked. I am looking forward to working with your company again in the future.

Commercial Director, Incentive Facilities Management

Thanks for all your help during the recruitment process. I have been extremely impressed with Aaron Wallis especially when compared to other agencies we have dealt with. I really felt you grasped the type of person we required and found strong candidates.

UK Sales Manager, Nexcom

Giles Phillips is a rare find in the minefield of sales recruitment; an honest and thoughtful recruiter who considers the needs of both the client AND the candidate to create perfect role matches. I look forward to working with him again in the future.

Marketing Director, City of London Police

Find out more >


Fantastic service, helped me find my ideal job quickly and smoothly. Would highly recommend them

C. Caine, Candidate

Aaron Wallis have provided me with an excellent service, Giles went out of his way to help me preparing for my interview and supported me through all the processes. If you need an agency to give you a fully professional and consultative approach to finding you a new career move, the Aaron Wallis can certainly provide this for you.

D. Richards, Candidate

Excellent service, very professional and friendly, would and have, recommended Aaron Wallis.

E. Heley, Candidate

The Recruitment agent I used, Simon, was extremely helpful and really went the extra mile to ensure all of my questions were answered, and that I felt as comfortable and prepared as possible. Very professional company and would definitely recommend to others. Thank you Aaron Wallis!

A. Callaby, Candidate

I've had a really good experience working with Giles Phillips at Aaron Wallis. From initial contact to the finer details of securing the job, he has been very professional and a pleasure to work with.

M. Shutt, Candidate

I can honestly say that the time and expertise you gave me was way beyond any other recruitment consultant I dealt with. You are a rarity in your industry.

S. Akers, Candidate

Very good advice and support was given during the course of the interviewing process. Potential job seekers would be well advised to use this company whilst looking for their new career.

R. Speakman, Candidate

Less than two weeks after joining Aaron Wallis I was offered my new job. I got a £10,000 rise in my basic salary, car allowance, a laptop and many other perks, which will help to further my career. I definitely would not have found my dream job without the help of Aaron Wallis.

C. Hoy, Candidate

Excellent experience from first contact to ultimately securing a suitable placement. Giles looked after me in a very professional and friendly manner. He used his expertise and experience to ensure I was put forward for the most suitable positions for my skill set and found me a new role very quickly. I can't recommend Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment highly enough.

M. Green, Candidate

Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment are a very friendly and professional recruitment organisation who listen to your needs, work with you and act on your behalf which sets them apart from many of their competitors who in my experience are willing to throw anything at you. We discussed my history, my preferences and my wishes - one opportunity was introduced. It was perfect. I start at the end of June.

R. Buckley, Candidate

Aaron Wallis (and in particular Rob Scott) have been fantastic throughout the recruitment process, and even a few months down the line, still continues to care. Rob clearly cares about each individual and has a wealth of knowledge and expertise, which shows in the work he does. Each candidate is not just a number, and the support received from Aaron Wallis has helped me get a career which I truly enjoy.

M. White, Candidate

Aaron Wallis is an outstanding recruitment agency specialising in high calibre sales positions. I was working directly with Darren Dawrance who went above and beyond my expectations in sourcing me my perfect role. I was kept in regular communication with Darren and he worked extremely hard to secure my dream job. Highly recommended and Thanks Darren for all your expertise and hard work.

R. Sealy, Candidate

Perfect from start to finish. Simon deserves a shout out. Best recruiter there is. If you need a job, this guy will get you one. He's like the super man of recruiters. Top man, can't recommend him enough.

M. Crisp, Candidate

I have to say coming across and having dealings with Aaron Wallis proved to be very successful. Being highly experienced did not seem to count for much during my job search bit a conversation with Robert Scott gave me a real confidence boost and enabled to get a position at the age of 63. Great service!!!!!!

D. Burgess, Candidate

Really excellent experience dealing with Aaron Wallis. Liam Oakes who helped me get a great job was brilliant. Kept me up to date during the process and offered great help and advice, and a thoroughly nice guy. Highly recommended!

J. Hathaway, Candidate

Find out more >

About our service to candidates

Copyright | Disclaimer | Site Map | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy © 2021 Aaron Wallis Recruitment and Training Limited. All Rights Reserved. Registered in England No. 6356563.

Our core services:  Sales Recruitment  |  Marketing Recruitment