Commentary on topics covered in the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) is split between three separate bulletins in 2018. This is part of our ongoing work to improve bulletins. Other commentary from the latest ASHE data can be found on the following pages:Back to table of contents
Definition of the gender pay gap
The gender pay gap is calculated as the difference between average hourly earnings (excluding overtime) of men and women as a proportion of average hourly earnings (excluding overtime) of men’s earnings. For example, a 4.0% gender pay gap denotes that women earn 4.0% less per hour, on average, than men. Conversely, a negative 4.0% gender pay gap denotes that women earn 4.0% more, on average, then men.
The gender pay gap fell from 2017 to 2018, to stand at 8.6% among full-time employees. The gap among all employees is higher (17.9%), driven by more women working in part-time jobs, which are lower paid (an average hourly rate is £9.36 compared with £14.31, excluding overtime, for full-time jobs).
In 2018 the gender pay gap for full-time employees is close to zero between the ages of 18 and 39 years. From the age of 40 years, it widens. For all employees, the gender pay gap widens after the age of 30 years and this coincides with an increase in working part-time from this age. A negative gender pay gap among part-time employees emerges in the age group 30 to 39 years before reversing by the age of 50 years.
When looking at the gender pay gap over time, all age groups have seen narrowing gaps since 1997 apart from those aged 60 years and over. In this age group, the gender pay gap has widened over the past 10 years after narrowing between 1997 and 2004.
Age groups 30 to 39 and 40 to 49 years have witnessed the most significant narrowing in the gender pay gap since 1997.
When looking at the gender pay gap by occupation for full-time employees, it is in favour of men for all the main occupation groups, ranging from 4.8% for sales and customer service occupations to 23.9% for skilled trades occupations in April 2018.
This interactive tool allows you to find out the gender pay gaps and average earnings in a wide range of jobs. It also shows how many women and men work in each role.
So, what is the gender pay gap for your job? Enter your job to find out.
Figure 5: Explore the gender pay gap by occupation, UK, April 2018
It should be noted that the gender pay gap figures presented in this bulletin do not show differences in rates of pay for comparable jobs, as they are affected by factors such as the proportion of men and women working part-time or in different occupations. For example, a higher proportion of women work in occupations such as administration and caring, which tend to offer lower salaries.
Additionally, it does not include reporting at company level – such company reporting is a separate government initiative.
The gender pay gap has fallen in all regions since 1998, most markedly in Northern Ireland where the pay gap is now in favour of women (negative 3.5%). Two decades ago the gender pay gap in London was below the UK average but has since narrowed at a slower rate. In 2018, it has the widest gender pay gap at 13.7%.Back to table of contents
A detailed set of data tabulations containing gender pay gap estimates from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) broken down by aspects such as age, region, occupation and industry are available.
Released: 25 October 2018
Annual gender pay gap estimates for UK employees by age, occupation, industry, full-time and part-time, region and other geographies, and public and private sector. Compiled from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings.
The gender pay gap
The gender pay gap is calculated as the difference between average hourly earnings (excluding overtime) of men and women as a proportion of average hourly earnings (excluding overtime) of men’s earnings.
Full-time and part-time
Full-time is defined as employees working more than 30 paid hours per week (or 25 or more hours for the teaching professions).
Standard Occupational Classification (SOC)
The Standard Occupational Classification 2010: SOC 2010 is a common classification of occupational information for the UK. The current standard is SOC 2010.Back to table of contents
The estimates in this bulletin are based on information gathered from a sample of 1% of employees in the UK. The focus is on profiling pay by employee characteristics across the UK; no reporting is made by employer. In 2017, a new government initiative required employers employing more than 250 staff to report their gender pay gap information; that initiative is quite separate from this Office for National Statistics (ONS) publication.
All estimates for 2018 are provisional and relate to the reference date 16 April 2018. Data from the 2017 Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) survey have been subject to small revisions since the provisional estimates were published on 26 October 2017.
For the charts in this bulletin, the following notes apply:
Employees on adult rates, pay unaffected by absence.
Figures represent the difference between men's and women's hourly earnings as a percentage of men's earnings.
Full-time defined as employees working more than 30 paid hours per week (or 25 or more hours for the teaching professions).
2018 data are provisional.
An explanation for the difference in the gender pay gap estimate between full-time and all employees can be found in the guide to interpreting ASHE estimates. It also addresses common questions about the data.Back to table of contents
The gender pay gap is the percentage difference between men and women’s median hourly earnings, across all jobs in the UK; it is not a measure of the difference in pay between men and women for doing the same job.
The gender pay gap estimates presented here do not include overtime. Overtime can skew the results because men work relatively more overtime than women and using hourly earnings better accounts for the fact that men work on average more hours per week than women.Back to table of contents
Released: 17 January 2018
This analysis builds on the raw gender pay gap, using regressions techniques to provide more insight into the factors that affect men's and women's pay.
Released: 27 November 2017
The pay gap between men and women working in London has barely changed in over two decades, new ONS analysis shows.
Office for National Statistics (ONS) has two main sources of data on employee earnings (that is, the payment that people receive from work). Average Weekly Earnings (AWE) provides time series estimates (updated monthly) of change in average earnings. Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE), meanwhile, is the source of more in-depth detail about lots of topics, such as the gender pay gap and low pay. Working hours information comes from both ASHE and the Labour Force Survey.
Estimates of employment, unemployment, economic inactivity and other employment-related statistics for the UK.
Contact details for this Statistical bulletin
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