Louisa Withers | 09 May 2022

More higher-end rises push up median pay rise

The median pay rise across the UK has risen to 3.5%, according to the latest figures from Incomes Data Research (IDR). This figure is based on 70 pay awards taking effect between 1 February and 30 April 2022 covering 802,643 employees in total.

The median has been rising steadily since the end of 2021, jumping from 2.5% to 3% at the start of this year, and up further in the latest figures. As the chart below from IDR Pay Benchmarker shows, the UK whole-economy median pay rise had been fairly stable at around 2.5% for much of 2019 and 2020, only dipping to 2% in the final quarter of 2020 and remaining there until the start of 2022.

The median has risen under the influence of a growing proportion of higher-end pay awards worth 4% or more as employers react to rising inflation, the increase in the statutory minimum wage (of 6.6% on 1 April to £9.50) and recruitment and retention problems.

IDR Pay Benchmarker includes details of pay rises at UK firms. Examples in the latest period include a rise of 5.3% at Sainsbury’s Supermarkets covering over 130,000 staff, 8.4% for 13,500 London Underground workers at Transport for London and 6.6% for farm workers covered by the Scottish Agricultural Wages Board.

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