Average weekly pay increased by 1.8% in 2019

pay strategy

Between December 2018 and December 2019, real regular weekly pay, excluding bonuses and adjusted for inflation, increased by 1.8%, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The Labour market economic commentary: February 2020 report, released today (18 February 2020), also found that real total pay, which includes bonuses, had increased by 1.4% over the same period.

The increase in average real regular pay equates to a rise to £474 per week; this is the first time it has exceeded £473 since March 2008. However, the ONS reported that the annual rate of growth of both total and regular pay has slowed in recent months.

In the same time period, nominal pay, which is not adjusted for inflation, grew by 2.9% (to £544 per week) for total pay and 3.2% (£512) for regular pay.

Among public sector organisations, regular average weekly earnings grew by 3.4% to £548, while private sector earnings increased by 3.2% to £504.

When comparing the periods of October to December 2012 and October to December 2019, the ONS found that the number of women in full-time employment had increased by 17.8%, while that of men had risen by only 9.2%.

Matt Weston, managing director at Robert Half UK, said: “According to our 2020 salary guide, 41% of business leaders are concerned about their ability to attract and retain talent over the coming year, demonstrating the importance of evaluating employee remuneration packages and wider incentives now more than ever.

“Pay continues to be a core consideration for employees, with 49% of UK workers intending to ask for a pay rise in the next 12 months, so businesses must get this right if they are to successfully navigate the current ‘war for talent’.

“That said, employers would be well-minded not to overlook the value of additional incentives such as flexible working, offering regular training and employee wellbeing benefits, in order to provide a balanced package to attract and retain the industry’s leading talent.”