United Kingdom

Pay inequalities

Key points

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Graph 1: Over time

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Graph 2: By gender and type

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Graph 3: By region

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Why this indicator was originally chosen

In monitoring trends in low pay, its relationship with both average and high pay is also relevant.

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Definitions and data sources

The first graph focuses on pay differentials.  It shows four statistics:

In each case, the statistics are shown as a proportion of average (median) hourly pay of full-time male employees thus providing a measure of earnings inequalities.  The left-hand axis shows proportions at the 10th percentile and the right hand axis shows the proportion at the 90th percentile.  The restriction to full-time employees only is to avoid the distorting effects of differences in the full-/part-time balance either by gender or over time.

The second graph shows, for the latest year, the distribution of employees across the pay spectrum with the data show separately for part-time women, part-time men, full-time women and full-time men.

The third graph shows, for the latest year, how the ratio for full-time employees between the hourly earnings at the 90th percentile and the hourly earnings at the 10th percentile varies by region.

The data source for all the graphs is the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) and the data relates to the United Kingdom.  Some detailed changes were made to the ASHE survey base in 2004 and an adjustment has been made for this in the first graph.  The proportions in the second graph have been calculated from the hourly rates at each decile using interpolation to estimate the consequent proportion earning in each of the pay groups.

Overall adequacy of the indicator: high.  ASHE is a large annual survey of employers.

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External links

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Relevant 2007 Public Service Agreements

None directly relevant.

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The numbers

Graph 1

Year As a percentage of full-time male median earnings
Men Women
10th Percentile 90th Percentile 10th Percentile 90th Percentile
1997 54% 209% 47% 166%
1998 54% 211% 48% 166%
1999 55% 212% 48% 169%
2000 55% 213% 49% 169%
2001 55% 218% 49% 170%
2002 55% 220% 49% 172%
2003 55% 219% 50% 173%
2004 55% 217% 50% 172%
2005 55% 219% 50% 177%
2006 55% 220% 51% 175%
200755% 221% 51% 175%
200855% 219% 51% 173%
200955% 219% 51% 174%
201055% 220% 52% 178%

Graph 2

Pay group

Men Women
Full-time Part-time Full-time Part-time
< 8 per hour 15% 52% 21% 49%
8 to 12 per hour 28% 21% 31% 26%
12+ per hour 57% 27% 49% 24%

Graph 3

East 388%
East Midlands 353%
inner London480%
outer London395%
North East 334%
North West 361%
Northern Ireland 344%
Scotland 344%
South East 409%
South West 347%
Wales 335%
West Midlands 353%
Yorkshire and The Humber 343%

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