Average weekly earnings excluding bonus payments rose by 0.8% comparing January - March 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 £444 in March 2013, before taxes and other deductions from gross pay; this is up from £441 a year earlier.
Including bonus payments the average weekly wage rose by 0.4% comparing January - March 2013 with the same period a year earlier. This rate has not been lower since March to May 2009. Some businesses have reported that bonuses that would normally be paid in March are expected to be paid later. This partially explains the low growth rate for average weekly earnings including bonuses. At £463 in March 2013, average weekly wages including bonus payments were lower when compared with March 2012 (£466).
Annual growth in wages excluding bonuses remains positive but continues to be low
Comparing annual growth rates for wages including and excluding bonuses, only those including bonuses have been negative since records began in 2001. This came after the 2008/09 recession when there was a large dip in bonus payments. Annual growth rates in wages excluding bonus payments remained positive following the recession, but have still been low.
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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