Women cut pay gap to earn 70% of male wages

WOMEN are slowly narrowing the pay gap, although average weekly earnings are still only 70 per cent of those of male workers, according to official figures released yesterday.

Higher pay rises for women of 8.4 per cent, compared with men at 6.6 per cent, reinforced a trend seen since figures on the breakdown of the sexes began to be compiled in 1970.

Statistics from the Government's New Earnings Survey also show that the gap between the highest and lowest-paid is at its widest for more than 20 years.

The highest-paid 10 per cent of workers - earning more than pounds 489 a week - receive 3.3 times the lowest 10 per cent. In 1970 the ratio was 2.5 times.

Excluding overtime, women's full-time hourly rates are 79 per cent of men's, compared with 63.1 per cent in 1970. At the beginning of 1980 they had risen to 73.5 per cent.

Average weekly pay for women in the survey was pounds 241, compared with pounds 340 for men. The average weekly wage for all workers topped pounds 300 for the first time, at pounds 305 or pounds 15,860 a year.

Pay rates increased generally by 7 per cent over the year but were lower for manual workers at 6.2 per cent.

The Equal Opportunities Commission welcomed the improvement in women's relative position. But Frank Spencer, its pay specialist, said full-time rates were not the only factor: 'We need to look at what is happening in industrial sectors dominated by women and part-time workers,' he said.

The Department of Employment said that women's wages were lower than those of men because they tended to be in lower- paid occupations and worked shorter hours.

Men, on average, worked 41.4 hours a week compared to the female average of 37.3 hours.

Male manual workers had the longest week at 44.5 hours, while female non-manual employees worked an average of 36.8 hours.

The figures also show that public-sector workers received bigger pay increases for the second year in succession. Over the past two years, private-sector staff have seen salaries rise by 14 per cent, compared with 21 per cent in public service.

On average, public-sector workers receive pounds 307.80 a week compared to pounds 303.30 in the private sector. Overtime, shift pay and bonus rates made up 11 per cent of all employees' gross wages.

The survey shows that male medical practitioners are the highest paid group of workers with an average annual salary of pounds 39,291, followed by treasurers and company financial managers on pounds 38,537 and male solicitors on pounds 32,427.

Female medical practitioners topped the women's pay league on pounds 31,985, representing 81 per cent of the male grade. Women solicitors had an average of pounds 23,883, 73 per cent of men's pay.

At the bottom of the scale, male workers in pubs and bars were the lowest-paid men on pounds 8,767 a year, while female bar staff were paid an average of pounds 5,922.

New Earnings Survey 1992 Part A; HMSO; pounds 11.50.

Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
voicesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping the First Minister up at night?
Life and Style
tech

Apple has been hit by complaints about the 1.1GB download

Arts and Entertainment
Pointless host Alexander Armstrong will voice Danger Mouse on CBBC
tv

Much-loved cartoon character returns - without Sir David Jason

Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't
tv

Liam Neeson's Downton dreams

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Actor and director Zach Braff
tv

Arts and Entertainment
Rosalind Buckland, the inspiration for Cider with Rosie died this week
booksBut what is it like to be the person who inspires a classic work of art?
Arts and Entertainment
tv

Life and Style
i100

Arts and Entertainment
The former Doctor Who actor is to play a vicar is search of a wife
film

Matt Smith is set to join cast of the Jane Austen classic - with a twist

Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona
filmWhat makes the little man tick?
Arts and Entertainment
Meera Syal was a member of the team that created Goodness Gracious Me
tv

Actress to appear in second series of the hugely popular crime drama

Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: An undercooked end (spoiler alert)
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding
musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'
Sport
Cesc Fabregas celebrates his first Chelsea goal
footballChelsea vs Schalke match report
Arts and Entertainment
Toby Jones (left) and Mackenzie Crook in BBC4’s new comedy The Detectorists
tvMackenzie Crook's 'Detectorists' makes hobby look 'dysfunctional'
Life and Style
fashion

Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Network Infrastructure Technical Lead - up to £45k DOE - Surrey

£35000 - £45000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

Technical Architect - Surrey - £35k-£45k DOE - Permanent

£35000 - £45000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

Maths Teacher

£110 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Reading: Maths NQT needed for a Fantas...

ASP.NET Developer - Cheshire - £35k - Permanent

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week