The average salary for full-time employees across the UK rose by 2.3% to £37,428 in April 2019, according to the Government’s latest Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE). ASHE is conducted by the Office for National Statistics and it provides a snapshot of earnings each April. It is based on a 1% sample of National Insurance numbers and is considered a reliable source of official earnings data.
Men and women
While the average gross pay for all full-time employees reached £37,428, the figures for men and women differ significantly with average pay for women working full-time at £31,819 compared to a figure of £41,185 for men – a difference of 22.7%. This has narrowed marginally from a difference of 22.7% at April 2018.
High and low pay
ASHE provides earnings data for a wide range of occupations and shows that the highest average earnings were for chief executives and senior officials at £156,209, followed by air traffic controllers with gross average pay of £93,955. At other end of the spectrum came bar staff (£16,055), waiters and waitresses (£16,286) and kitchen and catering assistants (£16,604).
The survey also provides information on the annual percentage change in average earnings which can be an indicator of labour market pressures. The figures for April 2019 show stronger growth for process operatives, skilled trades, caring and administrative roles than for professional and managerial staff. The annual percentage change in average gross pay for full-time managers, directors and senior officials is just 1.6%, compared to 4.7% for those in caring, leisure and other service occupations, 3.9% for both admin and secretarial and sales and customer service occupations and 3.1% for process, plant and machine operatives. This is partly a result of increases in the statutory floor, which most affects those in caring and customer service roles, and partly a result of rising pay expectations on the part of those in administrative and operative positions.
IDR data from our recent survey of pay in the still-important engineering sector shows a similar picture, with notably stronger growth pay for operators than for senior engineers or engineering managers. Our latest survey shows the median salary for operators is £23,556, up 9.3% on 2018, while the median salaries for senior engineers and engineering managers showed little or no growth.