VocaLink Take Home Pay Index Slumps To Lowest Level On Record

The VocaLink Take Home Pay Index for February has continued January’s downward spiral to hit an all-time low of 1.0%. The combination of the two recent consecutive falls has nearly halved the index during that period, taking it from 1.9% in December to 1.0% in February, signifying the Index’s lowest level since its inception in September 2004.

A slower than expected recovery in manufacturing production has contributed to the significant decrease in the VocaLink manufacturing index which also fell to its lowest level on record by tumbling from 1.1% in January to 0.4% in February. Services sector pay growth followed the downward trend with the index recording a drop of 0.3 percentage points to reach 1.3% in February. Though the reduction is relatively modest, a fall of this size is still significant given the index’s current low level.

The bleak news reflects the fragile state of the labour market which is showing few signs of recovery.

The latest official labour market statistics show that unemployment rose in January offsetting the falls seen in November and December. Specifically, the claimant count measure of unemployment increased by 23,500 in January from December which represents its biggest monthly increase since July 2009. The current doubts around economic recovery are exacerbated by the uncertainty caused by the impending general election with employers waiting to see what fiscal policies are put in place by the new government before making significant decisions regarding employment and compensation.

Marion King, chief executive officer at VocaLink, said: “The fact that the VocaLink Take Home Pay Index Report has reached the lowest level in its history reflects the gravity of the current economic situation. The Index has now fallen below the previous low of 1.1% reached in May of last year when we were still in the depths of the recession. This continued fall in wage growth rates combined with rising inflation means that household finances are still under great pressure. Either the recovery will have to strengthen significantly or it will take a long period of slow growth before upward pressure on wages begins to build and the spending power of households begins to recover.”

VocaLink processes more than 90% of UK salaries and the VocaLink Take Home Pay Index, established in 2004, provides the most timely and accurate disposable income data available in the UK. It is based on salary payments made to employees on a three-month moving average compared with the same continuation measure a year earlier. It is affected by changes in tax rates, National Insurance and other employer payments or deductions.

About VocaLink
VocaLink’s switching platform connects over 60,000 ATMs, the world’s busiest network, while the euro payments platform processes more than 500 million payments per month.

Via EPR Network
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Pioneer Services’ Receives National ‘Workplace Innovation’ Award For CSR Efforts

Giving back to the communities it serves is an integral part of Pioneer Services’ workplace culture, and those efforts were recognized when the company received the “CSR Award for Workplace Innovation” from PR News during an event at the National Press Club in Washington D.C., Feb. 24. Pioneer Services received first place, while finalists included Pepsi Co., Butterball, and Deloitte.

Pioneer Services provides full-time associates with 16 hours of paid volunteer time off (VTO) each year, with part-time associates receiving 8 hours. In 2009, the company created the internal “Be the Difference” campaign to increase usage of the benefit. The campaign included a Volunteer Fair at the company’s Kansas City headquarters, a website, t-shirts, poster, and a Volunteer Committee that helps associates find volunteer opportunities.

These efforts led to a 400 percent increase in VTO usage over the previous year, a special award from the Department of Veterans Affairs, as well as several community recognitions for individual associates. The company’s VTO program and commitment to community service have been showcased on several news broadcasts and received other national recognitions.

“Being honored as the best in nation for our corporate creativity and innovation in regard to CSR is exciting, especially given the caliber of other award finalists,” said Chief Operating Officer Joe Freeman. “Our entire organization, including the associate-driven Volunteer Committee, exhibited incredible commitment to this effort, and showed that, for us, Compassion is more than just one of our corporate values—it’s simply who we are as a company.”

Pioneer Services, the military banking division of MidCountry Bank, provides financial services and award-winning education to members of the Armed Forces. F or more than 20 years , Pioneer Services has been a leader in military lending, offering military loans and award-winning financial education programs through a network of offices and on the Internet. Pioneer Services is proud to support military families and communities through a variety of partnerships, programs, and sponsorships.

For more information, visit PioneerServices.com. For loan information, visit PioneerMilitaryLoans.com.

Via EPR Network
Financial press releases