Salaries advertised online have registered their first annual increase since the global financial crisis, in a finding that will bolster hopes wages for UK workers might finally be increasing.
In July average advertised remuneration was £33,873, 0.9 per cent higher than the same month in 2013, according to the jobs search website Adzuna.
Average advertised wages have now been growing for four consecutive months, according to the group, but this is the first year on year increase it has detected since the 2008/09 recession. Adzuna also reported a substantial jump in vacancies in the month to 872,629, up 27 per cent on July 2013.
“Despite a constant stream of negativity towards UK wages, there is genuine cause for optimism” said Andrew Hunter, founder of Adzuna. “As the UK motors on towards full employment, we may well see wages increase at a higher rate as employers begin a bidding war for skills.”
Advertised salaries in manufacturing were up 15.6 per cent, while engineering pay was 7.8 per cent higher than a year earlier, according to Adzuna.
That message is reinforced by the manufacturers’ organisation EEF, which also reports today that the average pay settlement in the six months to February was 2.6 per cent higher year on year. The group’s survey of 331 manufacturing firms also found that the number of pay deferments and wage freezes fell again.
“After many challenging years, manufacturers are also now literally paying their employees back for their support to keep jobs and businesses going” said Lee Hopley of the EEF.
The evidence from private-sector pay surveys has been in stark contrast to the gloomy message from official statistics over the course of this year.
Earlier this month the Office for National Statistics reported that regular pay for UK employees rose by just 0.6 per cent year on year in the three months to June, the lowest annual growth rate since records began in 2011. Total pay, which includes bonuses, actually contracted by 0.2 per cent according to the ONS.
The Bank of England was recently compelled to halve its average wage growth forecast for 2014 to just 1.25 per cent, after pay settlements came in well below expectations.
The Bank of England’s deputy governor, Ben Broadbent, said in a speech to the central banker’s summit in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, at the weekend that low productivity growth might have meant workers have “become more adapted” to a new environment of low pay growth.