05 Jul, 2012

Pay rises continue to lag behind inflation

05 Jul, 2012

Employees’ pay rises continue to lag behind inflation, according to the latest figures released today by pay specialists XpertHR.

In the three months to the end of May 2012, XpertHR has recorded the median basic pay award at 2%, unchanged from the previous rolling quarter but down from 2.6% in the first three months of the year.

In May 2012, retail prices index (RPI) inflation stood at 3.1% – leaving pay awards trailing the increase in prices by 1.1 percentage points.

The survey is based on details of 322 pay awards with effective dates between 1 March and 31 May 2012, covering 4.15 million employees.

  • The median pay award in the public sector remains a pay freeze, while in the private sector it stands at 2.5%.
  • 18.6% of pay settlements resulted in a pay freeze (15.1% of private sector deals compared with 53.3% of public sector deals).
  • One-third (36.9%) of settlements were worth the same as the increase paid to the same group of employees in 2011; 34.5% were higher; and 28.6% lower.
  • Manufacturing pay awards are at a median 2.5%, compared with 2% in the services sector.

Analysis of pay awards effective in the first five months of the year reveals some significant differences by sector. Overall in 2012, the median private sector pay award stands at 2.5%, with half of all awards worth between 2% and 3%. By sector, increases range from a median 2% in the not-for-profit sector, to 3.5% among transport and communication firms.

XpertHR Pay and Benefits editor Sheila Attwood said:

“Employees in the manufacturing sector are enjoying the highest pay awards this year, but for most workers pay increases remain below pre-recession levels. The 3.5% median increase in the transport and communication sector is the only one that touches the levels seen prior to 2008, with many sectors – including retail, general services, paper and printing, and not-for-profit – recording pay awards well below par.

“Despite an increasing number of pay deals worth 3% or more, there are also a significant number sticking to wage freezes. Combined, these are keeping our overall median pay increase subdued in the first half of the year.”

Credit: onrec.com