Pay rises reined in by falling stock markets and scandals

2 October 2002
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03 October 2002 | David Arminas

Fallout from the recent accounting scandals in the US and plummeting stock markets worldwide are slowing purchasers' salary increases, according to the latest survey from recruitment consultancy Purcon.

In the year to August, pay rose by 6.2 per cent, after rising by 8.6 per cent in the year to March.

The average salary for all UK purchasers is now £36,902.

By regions, the largest rise was for purchasers working in north-west England and Wales, with 10.3 per cent, followed by greater London at 7.1 per cent.

Buyers in East Anglia barely kept ahead of the retail price index with rises of 1.5 per cent.

Jerry Smith, director of Purcon, said: "Confidence has been shaken by the accounting scandals and depressed stock markets, while some growth engines, such as the telecommunications companies, have suffered badly. The general result has been a slowdown in recruitment and all-round cost savings."

But Smith said there was no general weakness in the economy leading to widespread layoffs, and the market is still strong for high-calibre supply management professionals.

Purchasers at the highest end, such as supply chain directors, enjoyed annual rises of over 15 per cent, the biggest increase for all job levels, to £92,316.

The lowest recorded salary increase was at the most junior level, including assistant buyers, where the rise was only 1.9 per cent to an average of £18,497.

IT purchasers command a salary premium ranging from 1.8 per cent for senior buyers to 12.6 per cent for those with European or global responsibilities.

Purcon is now publishing its survey quarterly rather than thrice-yearly. It will also include a regular feature on a specific market sector.

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