Women in their 50s earn nearly a fifth less than their male counterparts, the biggest disparity between any age group, according to figures published by the TUC. The fastest job growth in the past 20 years has been among middle-aged women, but they are still lagging far behind men.
It revealed the statistics ahead of the latest unemployment figures due tomorrow. The numbers out of work have fallen in recent months – and ministers will be hopeful the trend has continued after Christmas despite the recent demise of well-known high street names including HMV, Jessops and Comet. The TUC analysis found that a woman in her 50s who works full-time is paid an average of £11.99 per hour, which is 18 per cent less than a man of a similar age (£14.69).