UK construction industry tops pay league for fifth consecutive year

Britain’s construction industry tops the pay league for the fifth year running, according to new findings by Personnel Today’s sister publication IRS Employment Review.


Although the median basic pay award in the sector has slipped by 0.2 percentage points to 3.5 per cent, it remains higher than in any other sector.


The median annual basic pay settlement across the private sector as a whole stood at 3 per cent in the year to 31 August 2004, unchanged from the year to August 2003.


There is still a substantial difference between the median pay awards in each sector. The transport and communication sector comes a close second, enjoying median pay awards of 3.25 per cent, while employers in the publishing and broadcasting sector made a median pay award of just 2.5 per cent.


The median annual basic pay settlement across the private sector as a whole stood at 3 per cent in the year to 31 August 2004, unchanged from the year to August 2003.


There is still a substantial difference between the median pay awards in each sector. The transport and communication sector comes a close second, enjoying median pay awards of 3.25 per cent, while employers in the publishing and broadcasting sector made a median pay award of just 2.5 per cent.


Other key findings include:


– Nine sectors matched the private sector as a whole, with increases of 3 per cent in the year to August 2004 in chemicals; electricity, gas and water; engineering and metals; food, drink and tobacco; general manufacturing; general services; hotels and catering; retail and wholesale; and the voluntary sector


– The publishing and broadcasting sector is now at the bottom of the table, with a median pay increase of just 2.5 per cent


– The median pay increase has risen in engineering and metals, finance, general manufacturing, paper and printing, retail and wholesale, textiles, and transport and communication


– Engineering and metals and general manufacturing saw the greatest pay award increase, with pay deals rising by half a percentage point to 3 per cent in both industries


– The same pay increase has been recorded for the past two years in the following sectors: chemicals; electricity, gas and water; food, drink and tobacco; general services; hotels and catering, and the voluntary sector.


IRS Employment Review pay and benefits editor, Sheila Attwood said: “Only two industry sectors offered lower median pay awards in 2003/2004 than in the previous year – construction and publishing and broadcasting.


“While construction remains at the top of the pay league, this resulted in publishing and broadcasting falling to the bottom of our pay table. However, with headline inflation now standing at 3.3 per cent, employees will be looking for future pay rises to exceed the cost of living increases.”


The results are based on approximately 1,000 basic pay settlements across 15 industrial sectors, and published in the new issue of IRS Employment Review.


www.irsemploymentreview.com

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