New research has shown that levels of pay in the manufacturing sector have remained steady over the last three months whilst the number of pay freezes has seen only a small increase.
The manufacturers’ organisation, EEF and JAM Recruitment collected the pay data, which revealed the average pay settlement for the period was 2.5%, the same as the figure for the three months to the end of August.
Speaking to The Manufacturer, Lorna Clayton, of Swansea Industrial Components, said: “We have experienced very little change in terms of levels of pay over the last year; and have found that they have remained relatively consistent. We have also noticed over the last six months an increase in pay freezes, although this has been very small.”
While the survey shows that pay freezes have increased to around 1 in 6 settlements, compared to 1 in 10 settlements in the three months to the end of August, EEF warned it was based on a smaller sample than usual.
Ms Lee Hopley, EEF chief economist, commenting on the figures, said: “Whilst overall settlements are continuing to hover around normal levels, signs of pay freezes increasing could be a first sign of companies responding to the growing economic uncertainty we have seen over the summer months. We will be looking to see if this is a developing indicator of a firmer trend.”
As speculation continues by economists as to whether we are heading towards a double-dip recession, UK manufacturing has proved resilient, with growing output driven by export demand.
“We have seen no changes in pay levels over the last three months and, to be honest, there has been no increase in pay freezes either,” added Laura Turtle of Yuasa Battery Ltd.
EEF and Jam Recruitment found that the West Midlands proved a hotspot for recruitment in the manufacturing sector, whilst many employers with lengthy hiring processes were losing out to those who made quick decisions.