Pay increases by 2.2%

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Regular pay, excluding bonuses, increased by 2.2% in Great Britain between December 2014-February 2015 and December 2015-February 2016, according to research by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Its UK labour market: April 2016 report also found that total pay, including bonuses, grew by 1.8% in the three months to February 2016, compared to the three months to February 2015.

When adjusted for consumer price inflation, regular pay increased by 2% and total pay increased by 1.6% over the same period.

In February 2016, average weekly earnings, excluding bonuses, were £469 a week before tax and other deductions, which compares to £458 in February 2015. Meanwhile, average weekly earnings, including bonuses, were £491 a week before tax and other deductions, up from £485 a week in February 2015.

Doug Monro, co-founder at jobsite Adzuna, said: “More people are now in work and earning more, which should be celebrated. However, there is still the need for a degree of caution. The national living wage has rocked the jobs market this month, providing a vital boost to many low-earners and a long-deserved lift in their pay packet.

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“But on the flip side, there’s still more work to be done. Employers need to recognise employee value even more. Reports of organisations cutting employee benefits to foot an increasing wage bill again mean workers face fewer choices and less flexibility, which is a disappointing outcome for many.”

Ben Brettell, senior economist at Hargreaves Lansdown, added: “The wage growth numbers emphasise that there is very little inflationary pressure coming from the labour market. Indeed, continued low price inflation could be depressing wage inflation as it leads workers to accept lower pay settlements, leading to a vicious cycle where both price and wage increases remain depressed.”