The level of pay awards across the whole economy has fallen in April 2014, according to the latest findings from pay analysts XpertHR.

In the three months to the end of April 2014, the median basic pay award was worth 2%. This is below the April 2014 RPI inflation figure of 2.5%, but above the CPI rate of 1.8%.

However, behind the headline figure there continues to be a clear difference in the fortunes of employees in the public and private sectors. Public-sector employees continue to be caught by the government’s 1% pay policy. Within the latest batch of data are pay awards for around 1.7 million workers covered by the pay review bodies including those working in the NHS, the Prison Service and the Armed Forces.

Meanwhile, in the private sector the median pay award is worth 2.4%, representing a slight fall on the 2.5% figure recorded in the three months to the end of March 2014. Within the private sector, manufacturing and production firms are setting wage awards at a median 2.5%, compared with 2% awards in the services sector.

The most common pay award in the private sector is a 2% increase (representing just over a quarter of all pay deals recorded), followed by an increase of 2.5% (just over one-fifth of pay deals recorded at this level).

Key findings for pay awards in the three months to the end of April 2014 include:

-The whole economy median pay award stands at 2%.

-The middle half of deals fall between 1.5% and 2.5%.

-Pay awards in the private sector are worth 2.4% at the median. Much of the public sector continues to be covered by the average 1% pay award stipulated by the UK government.

-Manufacturing-and-production employers record a higher median pay award (at 2.5%) than the services sector (2%).

XpertHR Pay and Benefits editor Sheila Attwood said:”Following an encouraging start to the year, the pace of pay bargaining seems to have eased. Pay awards in the private sector remain low, at just 2.4% and there is little to suggest a dramatic increase in settlement levels is in the offing.”