Pay rises higher in private sector

Average weekly earnings for the private sector increased by 1.1% year on year, while average weekly earnings for the public sector fell by 0.5%, when comparing June to August 2013 with the same period in 2012, according to the latest figures by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The Labour market statistics, October 2013, found that this marks the first time a negative growth rate has been recorded since comparable records began in 2001.

In August 2013, average weekly pay, including bonus payments, in the private sector stood at £473, lower than the public sector figure of £484.

However, excluding publicly-owned financial corporations, average weekly pay in the public sector was £473, the same as for the private sector.

The figures also found that average weekly earnings, excluding bonus payments, rose by 0.8%.

In cash terms, average weekly earnings, excluding bonus payments stood at £447 in August 2013, before taxes and other deductions from gross pay, up from £444 a year earlier.

The average weekly wage, including bonus payments, rose by 0.7%, when comparing June to August 2013 with the same period a year earlier. At £474 in August 2013, average weekly wages, including bonus payments, were slightly higher compared to August 2012.

Nigel Meager, director of the Institute for Employment Studies, said: “Today’s figures confirm that the ferocious squeeze on real pay levels continues. There is huge pent-up pressure for wage increases in the system.

“As the recovery proceeds, employers may find it harder to resist this pressure, and any wage catch-up will further dampen any positive impact of growth on employment levels.”

Andrew Hunter, co-founder ofjobs search engine Adzuna, added: “Wages may be slowly creeping back up, but they are still being outpaced by inflation, and many UK employees are still to feel a difference in their wallets.”