Employees are enjoying the highest pay rises seen since December 2008, according to the latest pay settlement data from pay specialists XpertHR. The median pay rise in the three months to the end of January 2012 stands at 2.5%, up from 2.3% in the same period a year ago.
This is unchanged on the figure for the previous rolling quarter, confirming that the upward trend in pay settlement figures first seen in December 2011 has been sustained. A look at the pay awards effective in January 2012 alone also reveals a median 2.5% pay award.
Both figures are based on pay awards in the private sector only.
Other key findings on pay awards effective in the three months ending 31 January 2012 include:
· Almost half (46%) are pitched at 3% or higher.
· The most common basic pay award is 3%.
· Overall 41% of pay awards are higher than the same group of employees received a year ago, 35% are the same and 24% are lower.
· Pay awards in the manufacturing sector – at a median 3% - continue to outstrip those in the services sector, which are recorded at 2.5%.
Pay awards are set against retail prices index (RPI) inflation of 3.9% in January 2012, bringing the gap between pay and price rises to its lowest level since December 2009.
XpertHR Pay and Benefits editor Sheila Attwood said: "The new bargaining round has got off to an encouraging start with pay rises showing their highest levels for three years. "Employees are also benefitting from falling inflation, bringing the chance of pay awards matching inflation even closer."