Total pay for employees in the UK, including bonuses, increased by 1.6% in real terms between December 2017 to February 2018 and December 2018 to February 2019, according to research by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
The Average weekly earnings in Great Britain: April 2019 report also found that regular pay, excluding bonus payments, increased by 1.5% in real terms, adjusted for consumer price inflation, between the periods of December 2017 to February 2018 and December 2018 to February 2019.
In nominal terms, namely having not been adjusted for consumer price inflation, total pay increased by 3.5% and regular pay rose by 3.4% during the same period.
Lee Biggins, founder and chief executive officer at CV Library, said: “Employers are having to pull out all the stops in order to entice professionals out of their current roles, and this is reflected in the 3.4% increase in weekly earnings. Our own data echoes this, suggesting that organisations are desperately attempting to attract people to their jobs with the promise of better pay.”
Average total pay for employees in Great Britain was £529 a week in nominal terms, before tax and other deductions from pay, in February 2019. This compares to £673 a week for staff working within the finance and business services sector, specifically, and £357 a week for those employed in wholesaling, retailing, hotels and restaurants.
Between December 2017 to February 2018 and December 2018 to February 2019, average total pay for the construction industry rose by 4.6%, versus a 2.5% increase for the wholesaling, retailing, hotels and restaurants sector.
Average regular pay, excluding bonus payments, was £497 a week in nominal terms for British employees in February 2019, before tax and other deductions from pay. This compares to £482 a week in February 2018.
Gerwyn Davies, senior labour market analyst for the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), said: “It’s not entirely clear why certain groups have benefited from the extraordinary strong employment growth over the past year. Changing demographics is undoubtedly a factor, but another possibility is that employers are being forced to widen their recruitment channels and make work more accessible in response to the tightening labour market.
“Some of these groups are also more likely to have received more help and support from policymakers, through interventions such as more generous childcare support, as well as national living wage increases. Either way, the recent extraordinary strong growth in well-paid, permanent, full-time jobs suggests that many employers are shrugging off any concerns about the availability of skilled staff and any Brexit-related uncertainty.”