Pay deals hit three-year high in manufacturing

Manufacturing
pay settlements have stabilised at their highest level for more than three
years according to the latest information from the EEF manufacturing
organisation.

The
average level of pay settlements that reported by engineering and manufacturing
companies for the three months to the end of May 2004 was 2.8 per cent, the
same as the revised figure for the previous three months.

This
is the highest level that has been reported by EEF since April 2001.

In
addition, during the same period the number of pay freezes reported by
engineering and manufacturing companies fell slightly to just over 7 per cent
of all reported settlements, the lowest reported figure since March 2001.

In
contrast, the number of companies reporting that they had deferred their pay
settlement rose slightly to nearly 7 per cent, the highest figure that had been
reported since December 2002.

EEF
deputy director of Employment Policy, David Yeandle, said: “The tightening
labour market, combined with the improving business confidence, is now being
reflected in a slightly higher level of pay settlements. However, settlements
remain at reasonable levels and pose little or no inflationary threat.”

Settlement
amount (%)         Number of settlements

Zero
(pay freeze)                      22
0.01-2.00                                 29
(26 settlements at 2 per cent exactly)
2.01-3.00                                 189
(87 at 3 per cent exactly)
3.01-4.00                                 52
(17 at 4 per cent exactly)
More than 4.00                        20

The
June 2004 Pay Bulletin analyses 312 settlements in the three months to the end
of May 2004, affecting 48,214 employees. Of these, the average settlement was
2.8 per cent in both March and April 2004 and, based on a relatively small
sample, 2.6 per cent in May 2004.

These
figures may be liable for revision to take into account settlements for this
period that have not yet been received.

By Quentin Reade

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