The gender pay gap has fallen below 10 per cent for the first time, according to data published today by the Office for National Statistics. Standing at 10.1 per cent in April 2010, the gap between men’s and women’s median full-time hourly earnings excluding overtime was down to 9.1 per cent in April 2011.
This is a result of women’s earnings growing faster than men’s. Men’s earnings rose by 0.8 per cent over the year (from £13.00 an hour in 2010 to £13.11 in 2011), while women’s earnings rose by 1.9 per cent – up from £11.69 an hour last year to £11.91 this year.
On other measures, the gender pay gap for part-time employees was -5.6 per cent in 2011, widening from -4.3 per cent the year before. This means that part-time women are paid more than part-time men. The measure based on all employees fell from 19.8 per cent in 2010 to 19.5 per cent this year.
Other data in the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings show that median gross weekly earnings for full-timers, at £501, were up by only 0.4 per cent on the 2010 total of £499. Public sector workers saw a rise of only 0.3 per cent (from £554 in 2010 to £556 this year) while in the private sector the increase was 0.8 per cent (£473 a week in 2010, £476 in 2011).
There was a widening in the gap between the highest and lowest paid employees: between 2010 and 2011, the hourly full-time earnings excluding overtime of those in the top decile grew by 1.8 per cent, whereas those in the bottom decile saw an increase of only 0.1 per cent.
The region where employees had the highest full-time median gross weekly earnings was London, at £651, and the region with the lowest earnings was Northern Ireland at £451. The district with the highest-paying jobs was, not surprisingly, the City of London (a median of £981 a week full-time) and the district with the lowest-paid jobs was Torridge (£333 a week full-time).
The highest paid occupation was directors and chief executives of major organisations (£1,956 a week full-time), while the lowest was school midday assistants (£233 a week full-time).
The Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings is based on a 1 per cent sample of employee jobs taken from HM Revenue & Customs PAYE records. Information on earnings and hours is obtained from employers and treated confidentially. ASHE does not cover the self-employed nor does it cover employees not paid during the reference period. In 2011 information related to the pay period which included 13 April.
National Statistics are produced to high professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics. They undergo regular quality assurance reviews to ensure that they meet customer needs. They are produced free from any political interference. © Crown copyright 2011.
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