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Prospects for pay bargaining in the private sector

TUC seminar on 20 January 2018 brought together trade union officers leading on pay bargaining to discuss trends and prospects for pay bargaining in 2018. The discussion mainly focused on the private sector, as there is a separate TUC campaign group working on public sector pay.

Three presentations on the economic and pay trends can be seen below. Any-one with a stake in pay bargaining will find some useful information here.

What chances of a pay recovery in 2018? – Louis Emery, Labour Research Department

Lewis Emery presents a detailed analysis of pay increases in 2017, based on information about settlements compiled for LRD’s Payline service. He also examines the early increases in 2018 and looks at prospects for the coming year. Settlements fell from 3.9% to 2.0% in the last recession and have never fully recovered. Rising inflation is now starting to push pay settlements upwards, averaging 2.7% in January and on course for 3.0% for the coming year. The marked variations between different industries are explored in detail. A number of factors that will help or hinder higher awards in the coming year are also identified.

The economic outlook for 2018 – Geoff Tily, TUC Senior Economist

Geoff Tiley reports that UK economy growth is “down, but not out”, with weak economic growth set to continue. UK growth is currently near the bottom of the OECD table. The fall in the value of Sterling has boosted the UK manufacturing industry, but construction output is falling. After weighing up the domestic and international risks and opportunities he concludes that 2018 is most likely to bring “more of the same” – a national economy that is quite fragile, with ongoing hardship for many. 

Presentation slides


Pay growth: latest figures and forecasts – Paul Sellers, TUC Pay Policy Officer

Paul Sellers talks about forecasts for average pay growth, the tightening jobs market, and the Bank of England’s 2% CPI inflation target. He also highlights the trade union pay premium of 13.7% percent – the average worker earns more if they are in a trade union.

Presentation slides

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