Average weekly earnings excluding bonus payments rose by 1.3% comparing October to December 2012 with the same period a year earlier. The annual growth in earnings was lower than the 1.4% reported for September to November 2012. In cash terms, average weekly earnings excluding bonus payments were £445 in December 2012, before taxes and other deductions from gross pay, up from £439 a year earlier.
There continues to be a cut in the real value of pay, as inflation measured by the Consumer Prices Index was 2.7% between December 2011 and December 2012. The annual growth in weekly wages has been below inflation since the middle of 2009, just after the start of the economic downturn.
Including bonus payments the average weekly wage rose by 1.4% comparing October to December 2012 with the same period a year earlier. At £472 in December 2012, wages including bonus payments were £6 per week higher than December 2011.
Wages rise in manufacturing and services but fall in construction
Looking at the main sectors of the economy in October to December 2012, earnings excluding bonuses rose by 1.8% on the year in the manufacturing sector, rose by 1.4% in the service sector and fell by 0.2% in the construction sector. The manufacturing sector had the largest weekly wage at £524, followed by construction at £516 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 (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.