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Broadcasting and publishing see lowest pay settlements

LONDON - Publishing and broadcasting staff saw pay deals slump to the bottom of the private sector pay settlements league, according to new research.

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The media sector has been heavily affected by the downturn in advertising revenue and pay deals have slumped accordingly, according to the survey published today in IRS Employment Review.

From a 3% median award in 2000/01, there has been a marked decline to 2.2% this year

The IRS 'Private Sector Pay in Perspective 2001/02' survey reveals wide variations in pay settlements in the bargaining year ending August 2002.

The only sector to see a rise in the median basic pay award was construction, where settlements rose to 5%, from 4.5% in the 2000/01 pay round.

In the year ending August 31 2002, pay awards across the private sector as a whole edged downwards, from 3% in September 2001 to 2.5% by the end of the bargaining year. The downward drift in settlements reflects a combination of weak corporate profitability, sluggish economic growth and a benign inflationary environment.

A breakdown of industry sector pay deals is highlighted below:

Business Sector 2001/02 2000/01 Change

Call centres 3.0% 3.1% 0.1

Chemicals 3.0% 3.1% -0.1

Construction 5.0% 4.5% +0.5

Electricity 2.5% 3.1% -0.6

Engineering 2.6% 3.0% -0.4

Finance 3.5% 4.0% -0.5

Food, drink 2.8% 3.0% -0.2

Manufacturing 2.6% 3.0% -0.4

General services 2.6% 3.2% -0.6

Hotels and catering 2.5% 3.0% -0.5

Printing 2.5% 3.0% -0.5

Media 2.2% 3.0% -0.8

Retail/wholesale 2.5% 2.9% -0.4

Textiles 2.3% 2.5% -0.2

Transport/comms 2.6% 3.3 % -0.7

Voluntary sector 2.5%

This table sets out basic pay rises in 16 industrial sectors, based on the median (mid-point) level of settlements in each sector for the 12 months ending 31 August 2002. The overall private sector median for the period was 2.5%, compared with 3.1% in the 2000/01 wage round.

Pay and benefits editor for IRS Employment Review, David Carr said: "The downturn in publishing and broadcasting pay settlements in the 2001/02 bargaining year has been the steepest of all in the private sector. From a median award of 3% in 2000/01, the slide to 2.2% this year is the inevitable result of an industry hit by the decline in advertising revenue and falling corporate profitability."

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