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First quarter pay awards steady at 2% 28 April 2017

Pay settlements in the first quarter of 2017 are steady at a 2% median award, according to data.

This marks the fourth consecutive rolling quarter of pay awards at this level, following a turbulent 2016 where pay awards were often worth less than the 2% benchmark.

Based on a sample of 260 pay awards from across the economy effective between 1 January and 31 March 2017, XpertHR found that:

• half of all pay awards are worth between 1.5% and 2.3%, the highest range seen since May 2016;

• 2% is the most common pay award, given to 27.7% of employee groups;

• at 2%, pay awards in the manufacturing-and-production sector are running ahead of those in services, which are recorded at 1.8%. While pay awards in the manufacturing-and-production sector have been at 2% for the past year, the services sector has been at less than 2% in all but one month since April 2016; and

• one-third (32.2%) of pay awards are higher than employees receive a year ago, although slightly more (36.8%) were lower.

Around four in ten pay awards take effect in April each year. Details of the first pay awards for April 2017 are hinting at some more positive news on the wages front. Provisional analysis of a sample of 85 basic pay awards from the private sector effective in April 2017 reveals that the median award is 2% – consistent with the figure recorded in the sector for the best part of the past five years. However, the middle half of pay awards are within a higher range than recorded in the first quarter of the year, at between 2% and 2.5%. In addition, four in ten (41.2%) pay awards are higher than employees received a year ago. Public sector awards continue to centre on 1%.



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