Pay rises in manufacturing firms are higher than in other parts of the economy, running at an above inflation 2.6%, a new study has found.
The EEF said the figure had increased from 2.4% last year, while pay deferments and freezes had continued to fall.
Ms Lee Hopley, chief economist at the manufacturers organisation, said: "Manufacturing pay continues to run ahead of the wider economy with signs that the pressure on household budgets, at least for employees in industry, is starting to unwind.
"After many challenging years, manufacturers are also now literally paying their employees back for their support to keep jobs and businesses going.
"Business across the sector has clearly been on the up, but affordability will remain a key consideration in future pay deals as manufacturers' grow in confidence that the recovery is secure."
The study was based on 331 companies, employing 68,000 workers.
The latest RPI inflation figure is 2.5%.