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Steady pay award picture

The median basic pay award in the three months to the end of June 2017 is 2%, according to the latest data from pay analysts at XpertHR.

Pay awards have remained at this level since the three months to the end of December 2016. Deals settled in the key month of April will drop out of our sample next month, so there is a degree of unpredictability about which way pay awards will go as we enter a quieter pay bargaining period.

However, there are no obvious signs that the median is about to shift upwards in pursuit of rising prices. While the number of pay freezes remains low (5.7% of the total sample), the interquartile range is steady (1.5% to 2.5%) and public sector pay awards, despite growing momentum to lift the current pay cap, remain anchored at 1%.

Based on a sample of 290 pay awards from across the economy effective between 1 April and 30 June 2017 (covering the pay awards for almost 3.5 million employees), we find that:

  • half of all pay awards are worth between 1.5% and 2.5%;
  • 2% is the most common pay award, given to 29% of employee groups;
  • a 2% pay award was recorded in the services, and manufacturing and production sectors;
  • four pay awards in 10 (41.2%) are higher than employees received a year ago, and only one quarter (25.1%) are lower; and
  • the number of pay reviews resulting in a pay freeze remains low, at just 5.7%.

XpertHR pay and benefits editor Sheila Attwood said:

“Despite elevated inflation levels and low unemployment, organisations’ ability to pay combined with economic uncertainty are continuing to keep pay increases in check.”