EEF found that the average pay settlement in the six months to July was 2.6 per cent, 0.2 per cent higher than the same period last year.
This compares to an average wage increase of just two per cent among all employees who were offered a pay rise in all UK sectors, according to recent research by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.
The proportion of manufacturers who are maintaining a pay freeze has also fallen to 6.4 per cent, compared to 14.6 per cent in July 2013.
Jeff Neild, national head of employment & industrial relations at EEF, said: After many challenging years, manufacturers are 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 this new post-recession landscape is, however, presenting employers with a new set of challenges in managing relationships with their employees.
Employers need to take practical steps to ensure they are fully up to speed with managing trade union dynamics in an effective way.