Total pay has increased by 1.8% in real terms since June 2018


Total pay for employees in the UK, including bonuses, increased by 1.8% in real terms during the reporting period between April to June 2018 and April to June 2019, according to research by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The Average weekly earnings in Great Britain: August 2019 report also found that regular pay, which excludes bonus payments, increased by 1.9% between April to June 2018 and April to June 2019.

The annual growth in average weekly earnings for UK employees has improved by 3.7% in terms of total pay, inclusive of bonus payments, compared to a 3.9% growth rate for 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 £505 a week in nominal terms in June 2019. In real terms, UK employees received average regular wages of £469 a week for June 2019, compared to £460 a year earlier. Total pay for employees in Great Britain was £499 a week in June 2019, before tax and other deductions.

Ben Keighley, founder at Socially Recruited, said: “The intensity of the competition between employers for the best recruits is now driving up average wages at the fastest rate for more than a decade.

“On one level, this is leading to a steady increase in salaries. Average wages are now rising at their fastest level since 2008. But employers are also finding new ways to poach recruits from their rivals, and we’re seeing an increasing focus on people who are not even actively job hunting, with recruiters using a range of sophisticated approaches to encourage people to try something different.

“At the same time, growing [organisations] need to shore up their own teams by offering good training and perks. Britain’s job creation boom may be easing, but the competition for the best staff remains as intense as ever.”

Between April to June 2018 and April to June 2019, annual total pay in the public sector grew by 3.9%, creating the highest growth rate since May 2010.

Average total pay growth, including bonuses, for employees working within the construction sector was estimated at 5.9% for the reporting period between April to June 2018 and April to June 2019. This compares to a 2.4% total pay growth in the wholesale, retail, hotels and restaurant industry; regular pay growth for this sector was 3.1%.

The ONS has attributed pay increases to the improved national living wage and national minimum wage rates, set in April 2019, which are 4.9% higher than the 2018 rate. It also stated that NHS pay rises have impacted public sector pay growth.

Gerwyn Davies, senior labour market adviser at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), added: “The tightening labour market, especially in sectors such as construction, is clearly putting pressure on firms to raise wages for staff. Looking ahead, organisations need to address their workforce pipeline challenges before migration restrictions hit them hard; improving pay on its own will not be enough.”