Factory pays deals hit lowest point for 18 months

Pay deals in manufacturing firms have fallen for the third month in a row to their lowest level in more than 18 months, according to a new report today.

A study of 260 settlements covering almost 50,000 workers showed that increases averaged 3 per cent in the quarter to May, 0.1 percentage points down on the previous three-month figure and the lowest since October 2006.

The number of companies reporting pay freezes rose sharply to just over 7 per cent of all settlements, the highest figure since March 2006, said the Engineering Employers Federation.

Firms deferring their settlements also rose to just over 6 per cent of all deals, the highest level reported since December 2002.

David Yeandle, EEF deputy director of employment policy, said: "This gradual decline in pay settlements, coupled with the quite sharp increase in pay freezes and deferments, clearly indicates the tougher economic climate now facing manufacturers.

"Despite the increased cost of living, in such difficult conditions it would appear that this is not being translated into pay pressures in this sector."

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