Zoe Woolacott | 13 Mar 2020

Manufacturing pay awards keep median rise steady at 2.5%

Not for use before: 00:01 Friday 13 March 2020

Manufacturing pay awards keep median rise steady at 2.5%

The median pay award across the whole economy is 2.5% in 2020 to date, according to the latest monitoring figures from Incomes Data Research (IDR). Higher-end awards worth 3% or more account for over two-thirds (36%) of pay increases overall with the largest proportion of these taking place in manufacturing where the median is higher still at 2.7%.


Manufacturing pay deals predominate at this time of year, and two-fifths of all manufacturing awards are registering at 3% or above. By comparison, just under a third of pay awards made by firms in private services were at this level.

Key deals in manufacturing  include that for the thousands of electricians covered by the Electrical Contracting Joint Industry Board (JIB) in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, as well as the JIB for electricians in Scotland, where increases of 3% were awarded on 6 January 2020 in the final year of respective four-year deals. These deals also influence pay levels for skilled workers in manufacturing firms.


‘With inflation set to fall under the impact of falling oil prices and the slowdown prompted by the coronavirus outbreak, it is difficult to tell what spring will hold for pay increases’, said Zoe Woolacott of IDR. However, some pay awards will be heavily influenced by the National Living Wage, which rises by 6.2% to £8.72 on 1 April. ‘This pressure on pay award setting, particularly in low-paying sectors, could push the median increase higher in these areas at least’, added Woolacott.


The latest figures are based on a sample of 56 pay awards effective between 1 January 2020 and 31 December 2020, mostly at large organisations and together covering nearly 2 million employees. Very few awards in the sample are from the public sector so the results predominantly reflect the picture in the private sector.

 For any queries relating to this research please contact Zoe Woolacott on 01702 669549 or at zoewoolacott@incomesdataresearch.co.uk or Ken Mulkearn in our Manchester office on 07792 786532 kenmulkearn@incomesdataresearch.co.uk

 Note for editors - Incomes Data Research monitor pay reviews across the economy throughout the year and publish findings in ‘Pay Climate’, our quarterly e-bulletin, with additional monthly updates on our website: https://www.incomesdataresearch.co.uk/