Private sector workers' pay rises


Households have reported the first increase to their pay packets in two-and-a-half years, a financial information firm said.

However, the boost came from private sector workers, who saw the strongest uplift in workplace activity recorded for three years, Markit found.

Some 27% of private sector staff reported that work became busier in March, compared with 18% who saw a fall. Activity increased particularly in the services and construction industries, according to the findings.

The pick-up contributed to a rise in income from employment for the first time since September 2010, although Markit described the increase as "marginal".

While private sector incomes increased, workers in the public sector saw a slight dip in their earnings.

The boost also led to job insecurities easing to their least marked level since the survey began in February 2009.

The overall reading of the Markit household finance index increased slightly to 39.3 in March. While readings below 50 indicate that people's finances are getting worse, the latest figure marks the joint-slowest rate of deterioration seen since December 2010.

Around four times as many households reported that their finances had worsened than those who saw an improvement.

The findings suggest that people expect this week's Budget to do little to change their situation, with 43% of those surveyed expecting their finances to worsen over the next 12 months and 26% predicting their situation to ease.

In line with Markit's other findings, private-sector workers were less downbeat about the future state of their budgets than those in the public sector.

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