Manufacturing pay settlements are continuing to remain at normal levels as signs point to another key bargaining round emerging at the start of next year according to the latest data from EEF and JAM Recruitment.
EEF’s pay data for the 3 months to the end of October, albeit from a smaller sample of companies than normal, showed the average pay settlement for the period was 2.4%, down slightly from the 2.5% figure for the three months to the end of September.
The data also shows that pay freezes have begun to creep up towards 1 in 5 settlements. EEF cautioned however that the survey was based on a smaller sample than usual but there may be signs of a response to deteriorating business conditions.
Commenting on the latest figures, Ms Lee Hopley, EEF Chief Economist, 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 in the last few months. Attention will now turn towards the January bargaining round, where negotiations will again take place against a very cloudy outlook for the sector in the year ahead.”
John Morris, Chief Executive of JAM Recruitment, said:
“The current data seems to reflect an uncertainty among manufacturers. Yet with many British companies competing on quality not cost, access to the most skilled and highly educated employees is one of the most important factors to staying fleet of foot. The schism caused by the demand for skills and, sometimes, the unrealistic pay expectations of employers who don’t realise the depth of the shortage, means that the companies that can adapt to the demands of the current market are the ones with the competitive edge.”