Average weekly earnings excluding bonus payments rose by 1.4% when September to November 2012 are compared with the same period a year earlier. The annual growth in earnings was lower than the 1.7% reported for August to October 2012. In cash terms, average weekly earnings excluding bonus payments were £444 in November 2012, before taxes and other deductions from gross pay, up from £438 a year earlier.
There was a cut in the real value of pay, as inflation measured by the Consumer Prices Index was 2.7% between November 2011 and November 2012. The annual growth in weekly wages has been below inflation since the middle of 2008, just after the start of the economic downturn.
Including bonus payments the average weekly wage rose by 1.5% when September to November 2012 are compared with the same period a year earlier. At £472 in November 2012, average wages including bonus payments were £6 per week higher than in November 2011.
Wages rise in manufacturing and services but fall in construction
Looking at the main sectors of the economy, earnings excluding bonuses rose in September to November 2012 over the level of a year earlier by 1.7% in the manufacturing sector and 1.4% in the service sector. They fell by 0.2% in the construction sector. The construction sector, however, had the largest average weekly wage at £524, followed by manufacturing at £522 and services at £430. People tend to work more hours on average per week in construction and manufacturing than in the service sector.
Earnings measures money paid to employees in return for work done, before tax and other deductions from pay. The estimates relate to Great Britain and include salaries but not unearned income, benefits in kind or arrears of pay. As well as pay settlements, the estimates reflect bonuses, changes in the number of paid hours worked, and the impact of employees paid at different rates joining and leaving individual businesses. The estimates also reflect changes in the overall structure of the workforce; for example, fewer low-paid jobs in the economy would have an upward effect on the earnings growth rate.
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