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The gender pay gap

Published Thursday, October 27, 2016

The gender pay gap refers to the difference between male and female hourly earnings. This note looks at the gender pay gap among different groups, including variation in the pay gap by age, region, occupation and industry sector.

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On average, female employees working full-time are paid less per hour than male full-time employees. At April 2016, median full-time hourly earnings (excluding overtime) were 9.4% less for women than for men. However, median hourly earnings for part-time employees were 6.0% higher for women than for men. (The median is the point at which half of people earn more and half earn less.)

The gender pay gap for all employees (both full-time and part-time) was 18.1%. Counter-intuitively, this overall pay gap is higher than the 9.4% gap for full-time employees and the -6.0% gap for part-time employees. This is because more women than men work part-time and part-time workers tend to earn less than full-time workers.

Broadly speaking there has been a downwards trend in the full-time pay gap since 1997 and the overall pay gap has also decreased over the period. The part-time pay gap has widened since the early 2000s, with women earning more than men.

The differences in average pay for men and women arise for various reasons, including the types of jobs people do and the amount of experience they have. Notably, there is little difference in median hourly pay for men and women aged in their 20s and 30s. However there is a large gap between men and women aged 40 and over working full-time.

The data underlying the charts in this note are published in the accompanying tables.

Commons Briefing papers SN07068

Author: Feargal McGuinness

Topics: Employment, Pay

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