U.K. Wage Growth Slows To 13 Month Low, Pay Researcher Reports

U.K. Wage Growth Slows to 13-Month Low, Pay Researcher Reports

By Jennifer Ryan

Nov. 2 (Bloomberg) — U.K. wage negotiators agreed on the smallest salary increases since September 2006 in the quarter through October as employers gave minimum pay raises to their lowest-earning workers, Incomes Data Services said.

The median pay settlement fell to 3.2 percent from 3.4 percent in the three months through September, the researcher said in an e-mailed statement today. The reading is based on 65 settlements covering about 1.5 million workers. About three- quarters of agreements in “lower-paying'' industries, such as retail and non-profit, were at or below 3 percent.

Salary gains for the lowest-paid slowed after the government ordered a 3.2 percent increase in the national minimum wage, the smallest gain since 2002. Bank of England policy maker David Blanchflower said Oct. 30 wage growth will stay “muted'' as a record wave of immigration helps curb inflation pressures.

“It's the lowest increase in a long time for the national minimum wage, and it's having an impact on settlements,'' Ken Mulkearn, editor of the London-based IDS's pay report, said in an interview. The last time the minimum increase was lower was in 2002, when the gain was 2.4 percent, he said.

Among the settlements reached during the period, Marks & Spencer Plc, the U.K.'s biggest clothing retailer, agreed to a 2.7 percent pay increase for its customer assistants, the report said. Staff at the Natural History Museum in London were given a 1.8 percent salary rise.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jennifer Ryan in London at Jryan13@bloomberg.net

Last Updated: November 1, 2007 20:36 EDT