Real wage growth highest in seven years

Real wages have grown faster than at any point in the last seven years, according to the latest Office for National Statistic (ONS) figures. 


Its UK Labour market 2015, June report found that regular pay for employees increased by 2.7% between February – April 2014 and February – April 2015, the highest annual growth rate since the three months to February 2009.

Total pay for employees also increased by 2.7%. The last time the annual growth rate was as high as 2.7% was in June – August 2011.

It is the highest annual real wage growth since 2007.

According to the ONS, in February – April 2015, higher three month average growth rates were recorded for both regular pay and total pay, across a wide range of industries in the private sector, when compared to January – March 2015.

Average regular pay (excluding bonuses) for employees in the UK was £462 per week before tax and other deductions from pay, while average total pay (including bonuses) was at £493 per week.

Priti Patel, employment minister, said: “The figures confirm that our long-term economic plan is already starting to deliver a better, more prosperous future for the whole of the country, with wages rising, more people finding jobs and more women in work than ever before.”

Ben Brettell, senior economist at Hargreaves Lansdown, added: “The real surprise was the strength of wage growth, however, average weekly earnings including bonuses grew by 2.7% compared with a year ago, as against 2.3% in the three months to March. Economists had expected a smaller rise to 2.5%. Wages excluding bonuses rose at the same rate.

“This is the clearest indication yet that living standards are undergoing a sustained increase, following years of falling real wages in the aftermath of the financial crisis.”