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Average Earnings

Volume 458: debated on Wednesday 14 March 2007

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the pay gap between (a) women working full-time, (b) women working part-time, (c) women with dependent children, (d) ethnic minorities, (f) workers aged 50 years or over, (g) workers with disabilities and (h) those with the lowest qualifications and the hourly median earnings for men in each year since 1997. (126513)

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician, who has been asked to reply.

Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated 14 March 2007:

As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question regarding the pay gap between (a) women working full-time, (b) women working part-time, (c) women with dependent children, (d) ethnic minorities, (f) workers aged 50 years or over, (g) workers with disabilities and (h) those with the lowest qualifications and the hourly median earnings for men in each year since 1997. (126513)

Average levels of earnings are estimated from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE), and are provided for employees on adult rates of pay whose pay for the survey period was not affected by absence. This is the standard definition used for ASHE. The ASHE does not collect information on the self employed and people who do unpaid work.

Analyses for women with dependent children, ethnic minorities, workers with disabilities, and by qualification are not available from ASHE. The Labour Force Survey (LFS) does collect this information, but in the form requested it is not readily available and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

The attached table shows median gross hourly earnings excluding overtime and the pay gap, for full-time females, part-time females and all employees aged over 50, compared to the median gross hourly earnings excluding overtime for full-time men.

The ASHE, carried out in April each year, is the most comprehensive source of earnings information in the United Kingdom. It is a one per cent sample of all employees who are members of pay-as-you-earn (PAYE) schemes.

Gender pay gap, United Kingdom

Median gross hourly earnings excluding overtimea

Full-time male

Full-time female

Part-time female

Employees aged 50+

£

£

Pay gapb

£

Pay gapb

£

Pay gapb

1997

8.40

6.94

17.4

4.75

43.5

6.71

20.2

1998

8.74

7.22

17.4

4.90

43.9

7.02

19.7

1999

9.07

7.58

16.4

5.10

43.8

7.30

19.5

2000

9.35

7.83

16.3

5.26

43.7

7.47

20.1

2001

9.84

8.23

16.4

5.50

44.1

7.83

20.4

2002

10.26

8.67

15.5

5.72

44.2

8.11

20.9

2003

10.58

9.04

14.6

6.08

42.5

8.51

19.6

2004 excluding

11.09

9.53

14.1

6.35

42.7

8.89

19.8

2004 includingc

10.96

9.37

14.5

6.32

42.3

8.87

19.1

2005

11.29

9.82

13.0

6.72

40.5

9.39

16.8

2006

11.71

10.24

12.6

7.00

40.2

9.84

16.0

Notes:

a Employees on adult rates whose pay for the survey pay-period was not affected by absence.

b The percentage difference between the relevant hourly pay, and that of full-time males.

c In 2004, additional supplementary surveys were introduced to improve the coverage of the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings. Figures are presented both excluding and including the additional surveys for comparison purposes.

Guide to quality:

The Coefficient of Variation (CV) indicates the quality of a figure, the smaller the CV value, the higher the quality.

The true value is likely to lie within +/- twice the CV—for example, for an average of 200 with a CV of 5 per cent., we would expect the population average to be within the range 180 to 220.

All of the figures on this table have a CV of less than 5 per cent.

The median is the value below which 50 per cent. of employees fall. It is preferred over the mean for earnings data as it is influenced less by extreme values and because of the skewed distribution of earnings data.

Source:

Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings, Office for National Statistics.