Average weekly earnings excluding bonus payments rose by 1.0% comparing December 2012 to February 2013 with the same period a year earlier. This is the smallest growth reported since records began in 2001. In cash terms, average weekly earnings excluding bonus payments were £443 in February 2013, before taxes and other deductions from gross pay; this is up from £440 a year earlier.
There continues to be a cut in the real value of pay, as inflation measured by the Consumer Prices Index was 2.8% between February 2012 and February 2013. The annual growth in weekly wages excluding bonuses has been continuously below inflation since late 2009.
Including bonus payments the average weekly wage rose by 0.8% comparing December 2012 – February 2013 with the same period a year earlier. At £464 in February 2013, wages including bonus payments were virtually unchanged compared with February 2012.
Wages rise in manufacturing and services but fall in construction
Looking at the main sectors of the economy in December 2012 – February 2013, workers in the service sector also experienced record low growth in earnings (excluding bonuses), as they rose by just 1.0% on a year earlier. Earnings growth excluding bonuses was relatively strong in the manufacturing sector at 2.2% on the year but construction sector earnings continued to fall, by 1.1% on the year.
The manufacturing sector had the largest weekly wage at £528, with construction at £523 and services at £427. However, it is important to note that even though wages are lower in the service sector, people tend to work more hours per week in construction and manufacturing.
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 (where included), 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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