Real wages rise almost 3%

Total pay-salary-2015

Real wages in Great Britain increased by almost 3% year on year, excluding bonuses, when comparing the period March to May 2015 with the same months in 2014, according to figures by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The ONS UK labour market, July 2015 report found that average weekly pay (excluding bonuses) rose by 2.38% between March to May 2014 and March to May 2015, while average weekly total pay (including bonuses) increased by 3.2%.

In both cases, this represents the highest annual growth rate since July to September 2007.

For May 2015, average regular pay for employees was £462 per week before tax and other salary deductions. Average total pay, meanwhile, stood at £492 per week before tax and other deductions from salary.

Priti Patel, employment minister, said:The strength of the UK labour market is something we should take great pride in. Today’s figures show real wages growing at the fastest rate since 2007, and near record numbers of women in work.”

Mark Beatson, chief economist at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), added: “The three-month average rate of wage growth remains unchanged at 2.7%.

”However, this disguises a ‘tale of two workforces’; where the living standards of workers in sectors such as manufacturing and public sector are falling further behind other booming sectors such as construction and finance. 

”Inflation is unusually low and many firms are still not having pay reviews either because they see no need to put wages up, or are awarding low pay rises because they say they can’t afford to pay more.  Looking ahead, there is also a question of whether some employers might change how they set pay in anticipation of the proposed national living wage, especially in low-paid sectors.”