Design Sector Insights: Market Stability & Growth

In our recent People, Work and Engagement survey for the design sector, we asked a series of questions to better understand what’s important to people across the industry.

As part of this survey, we take a closer look at ‘Market Stability & Growth’ where we unravel the frequency of remote work, delve into preferences for hybrid models, and explore the challenges encountered along the way.


View full survey results


Market Stability & Growth

Here is a summary of our key findings:

  1. Creative Industries Growth: The Creative Industries witnessed substantial growth post-pandemic, with a remarkable 14.1% rise since 2019, far exceeding the average growth rate across the UK.
  2. Market Stability and Vacancy Trends: In 2023, the design job market had a turbulent year with pronounced peaks and troughs, particularly evident in user experience (UX) markets.
  3. Team Dynamics: Survey data revealed that a significant portion of design teams asked either stayed the same size or grew, with 43% reporting team growth, 31% reporting team shrinkage, and 29% remaining unchanged.
  4. Salary Growth and Job Satisfaction: A majority (67%) of respondents received pay rises, with 65% receiving raises without changing jobs. Salary remains a top priority for designers, impacting both job satisfaction and retention.
  5. UX Salary Increases: The digital economy boom post-pandemic led to substantial competition for UX talent, resulting in significant salary increases. Median salaries for UX-related jobs rose by 14.29% in Q1 2022 and continued to increase by 4.17% in 2023.
  6. Hiring Confidence and Economic Outlook: While 29% of hiring managers planned to grow their teams in the first half of 2024, 38% were uncertain. However, predictions of a more promising economic outlook in 2024, including potential tax and interest rate cuts, may boost business growth and hiring confidence later in the year.
  7. Job Seeker Trends: Nearly half of survey respondents were actively looking for new opportunities or expected to do so soon, with 33% actively searching and 15% anticipating a job search within the next 6 months.


For a more in depth analysis and additional sections, view the the full People, Work and Engagement survey results.

If you’d like to hear from us about future surveys and more industry insights register your interest here.

Written by

Head of Design Recruitment

User Experience & Design Recruitment

View profile

Sam Firth