The amount paid to UK employees in bonuses increased by around £1.5bn in the five months to April 2004, reversing 24 months of decline.
Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) Labour Market Trends show that the overall rate of pay growth including bonuses saw some large fluctuations in the period December 2003 to April 2004.
While the ONS says that majority of bonus payment were for City professionals, their methodology does not provide a figure for how much bonus payments were worth in total each year, only the year-on-year increase.
January in particular saw a very large divergence between the ’including bonuses’ rate, which was 7.6 per cent, and the ’excluding bonuses’ rate, which was 3.9 per cent.
The January peak is attributed to higher bonuses among firms that also paid in January last year; changes in the timing of bonuses, with some previously paid in December or February being paid in January this year; and changes in the levels of these latter bonuses compared with last year.
The increase cancels out the fall of £1.4 billion experienced during 2003 and 2002 and beats the 2000 record of £1 billion.