More than half of businesses in the West Midlands are set to increase wages in 2014, a study has revealed.
The Barclays Employers Survey 2014, which questioned 684 UK businesses across the UK, has revealed that 55 per cent of businesses surveyed in the region are planning to increase salaries in the year ahead.
Barclays said the findings were positive although it could lead to inflationary pressures later in the year.
Prior to this month’s major fall in unemployment, only 17 per cent of bosses surveyed thought that unemployment levels would fall sufficiently to lead to an interest rate rise this year.
A third thought the rate increase would be in 2015 while 36 per cent of those companies polled thought it would be 2016 or later.
Ray O’Donoghue, managing director of Barclays in the West Midlands, said: “After an extended period of wage freezes, which have been tough for employees, it’s good to see that so many employers will be increasing wages in the coming year.
“This can only have a positive impact on employee morale.
“However, it will increase inflationary pressure as the year progresses.”
He added: “Whilst no one knows when interest rates will rise, businesses should not be complacent.
“It would be prudent for firms to ensure they have sufficient cash flow to absorb the increase when it comes.”
The survey also revealed that 34 per cent of West Midlands businesses would be looking to employ on apprentices in the 12 months ahead.