FTSE 350 workers are in the money

Salaries at UK plc are on the rise. Although not, admittedly, as fast as inflation...

by Emma Haslett
Last Updated: 10 Nov 2011
Who said big business doesn’t look after its workers? According to a study by payment company Vocalink, FTSE 350 firms are practically charitable trusts, compared with their public sector counterparts. Despite all the moaning and groaning about the eurozone, it turns out that the average pay rise for those working in UK plc actually went up by 2.5% in the three months to October, from a meagre 2.2% in September. Good lord – that’s almost half the rate of inflation…

Recent surveys might have shown manufacturers’ optimism has fallen at its sharpest level since 1975, but the sector’s still pretty cushy to work for: according to Vocalink, pay in manufacturing was up by 2.7%, a steep rise compared to last month’s 2.1% - and its highest growth since July. The services sector, on the other hand, remains pretty much average, with an average pay rise of 2.5%, up from 2.3% in September.

Salaries in the public sector have gone up (albeit gently), too – despite the fact that the Government instituted a pay freeze back in April. Pay rose by 2.2% in the three months to October, compared with 2% in September. Although Vocalink pointed out that that’s probably a combination of the fact that some public sector workers continued to have pay rises until September, and that lots of the lowest-earning public sector workers have been made redundant, thus pushing up the average wage.

Now obviously, it’s good news that pay is beginning to rise faster, but not good enough when you take into account the fact that inflation has now reached 5.2% - which means that even though people’s wages are going up, they’re effectively taking a salary cut. Compared with the average salary of a director, which according to research by Incomes Data Services has gone up by about 50% in the past year, you can see why certain factions of the populace are camping outside St Paul’s. Although given the amount of time they’ve dedicated to their cause, it’s unlikely they’ll be seeing much in the way of a payrise anytime soon…

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