Graphs on this page:
- For men, the earnings of both the low-paid and the high-paid have risen at the same proportional rate as average full-time maleearnings throughout the last decade.
- For women, the earnings of both the low-paid and the high-paid have risen at a slightly greater rate than average full-time maleearnings.
- The net results of this are:
- For each of men and women, inequalities in earnings between the top and the bottom are unchanged over the decade.
- Although there is still a gap between low-paid male and low-paid female earnings for full-time employees, this gap has narrowed over the last decade.
- Low-paid women are paid around 6% less than low-paid men. High-paid women are paid around 20% less than high-paid men.
- Half of all part-time workers – both men and women – were paid less than £8 per hour in 2009. This compares with 20% of full-time women and 16% of full-time men.
Definitions and data sources
The first graph focuses on pay differentials. It shows four statistics:
- Gross hourly pay of full-time male employees at the 10th percentile, i.e. the pay of men one tenth of the way from the bottom of the full-time male pay distribution.
- Gross hourly pay of full-time female employees at the 10th percentile, i.e. the pay of women one tenth of the way from the bottom of the full-time female pay distribution.
- Gross hourly pay of full-time male employees at the 90th percentile, i.e. the pay of men one tenth of the way from the top of the full-time male pay distribution.
- Gross hourly pay of full-time female employees at the 90th percentile, i.e. the pay of women one tenth of the way from the top of the full-time female pay distribution.
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 data source for both graphs is the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE). 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: medium. ASHE is a large annual survey of employers but the published data does not provide direct estimates of the number of people at various low pay thresholds.