Graduate starting pay up by 4.8%

The median starting salary for graduate recruits increased by 4.8% between 2016 and 2017, according to the latest IDR survey of pay and progression for graduates. The median starting salary for graduates is now £27,000, up on the £25,700 figure produced by the 2016 survey. When it comes to progression pay, our analysis shows that the average salary for graduates recruited three years ago, in 2014, is 22% higher than for those recruited in 2017.

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Pay Settlement Analysis: Upturn in settlement levels

The median pay award across the whole economy rose to 2.5% in the three months to January 2018, according to the latest monitoring figures from IDR. This is the highest we have seen since the quarter to December 2015, when many firms pushed up pay rates in advance of the introduction of the Government’s National Living Wage the following April. In the two years since, the median pay award has only risen above 2% on three occasions.

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Economy pay awards rise to 2.3%

The last three months of 2017 produced an increase in pay rises across the economy, with the median rising to 2.3%. Awards in the private sector show a median of 2.5% for this period, which is higher than the overall median of 2.2% for this sector during 2017. The elevated median this time is the product of some higher awards, for instance at EasyJet and Ford.

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2017 Pay settlements summary

Incomes Data Research has monitored 667 pay reviews for 2017, covering over 6,900,000 employees. The median increase for the whole economy remained the same at 2% from the previous year. The private sector however has risen from 2% to 2.2% in 2017. This has been especially noticeable at the lower quartile which showed an increase of 0.5%, whereas the upper quartile fell slightly from 2.78% to 2.75%. Across the whole economy, the lower quartile increased by 0.5% and the upper quartile rose by 0.1%, suggesting modest upwards pressure on pay, which may be due to higher inflation rates across 2017.

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Engineering: higher awards drive up pay for manuals

Our latest survey of pay and conditions for engineering workers suggests stronger pay growth for manual workers than for white-collar staff and managers, driven by higher – often negotiated – pay awards. Recruitment pressures have also played a role, as well as staff turnover among operators.

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Call centre employers start to see upward pay pressure

This year’s survey of pay and conditions in contact centres has found that median pay settlements have increased slightly this year. Meanwhile, last year’s improvements in recruitment and retention may only have been temporary. Continue reading Call centre employers start to see upward pay pressure

Inflation predicted to slowly fall during 2018

All of our panel of City economists see RPI inflation peaking in the next month or two and thereafter coming slowly down. Our rounded average of the predictions from seven City forecasting bodies shows the RPI, which is currently at 4% for the year to October, falling to 3.6% in the year to February. The February figure will be released in mid-March and as such will be the extant measure when many companies’ April 2018 pay reviews take place.

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Viewpoint: ‘There are bad times just around the corner…’

The Budget on 22 November sparked a debate over the prospects for wage growth over the coming period. The Bank of England is on one side, while on the other stand the government’s Office for Budgetary Responsibility (OBR) and the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS).

Earlier, in announcing its decision to raise interest rates marginally on 2 November, the Bank argued that while pay increases are currently subdued – mostly because employment has been growing in lower-paid occupations and industries – it expected earnings growth to strengthen during 2018. This will occur, the Bank said, ‘as the tightening labour market starts to put more widespread upward pressure on wage demands’. Continue reading Viewpoint: ‘There are bad times just around the corner…’