Total pay has increased by 1.9% in real terms since August 2018


Total pay for employees in the UK, including bonuses, grew by 1.9% in real terms during the period between June to August 2018 and June to August 2019, according to research by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The Average weekly earnings in Great Britain: October 2019 report also found that regular pay, which excludes bonus payments, increased by 2% during the same reporting period.

The annual growth in average weekly earnings for UK employees was 3.8% for both total pay, inclusive of bonus payments, and regular pay, which does not take into account bonus awards.

Average regular pay for employees in Great Britain, before tax and other deductions from pay, was £509 a week in nominal terms in August 2019. In real terms, UK employees received average regular wage of £472 per week for August 2019, compared to £462 a year earlier.

Total pay for staff in Great Britain was £502 a week in August 2019, before tax and other deductions; this compares to £525 in February 2008.

Between June to August 2018 and June to August 2019, annual total pay in the public sector grew by 3.5%; this is a decline from the 4% growth rate recorded two months earlier. The ONS stated that this was likely influenced by the timing of NHS pay rises, as well as one-off payments made to some NHS staff.

Average pay growth for employees working within the construction sector was reported as 5.5% between June to August 2018 and June to August 2019 for both total pay and regular pay. This compares to 2.7% total and 2.5% regular pay growth rates for the manufacturing industry.

Jon Boys, labour market economist at the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development (CIPD), said: “[These] statistics will certainly prompt more speculation that the labour market has reached its high-water mark.

“Employment numbers may be down on the last period, but it’s worth repeating that they remain just below record levels.

“Earnings growth [has] also dipped this month, yet it’s continuing to beat inflation across a broad spectrum of industries. The labour market is still in good health.”