Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Women are catching up

The gender pay gap - the difference between median earnings received by men and women - has fallen from 12.2 per cent in April 2009 to 10.2 per cent in April this year. The decline is the largest annual improvement since the ONS started to properly record the gap back in 1997.

The reasons seems to be largely due to stagnating men's wages. Last year, men's earnings increased by only four pence, going from £12.97 in 2009 to £13.01 in 2010.

The hourly wage rate for women increased by a staggering twenty nine pence an hour. Last year, the median hourly rate was £11.39; this year it is £11.68.

The percentage changes reflect the underlying dynamics more clearly; men received a 0.3 percent median increase, while women's salaries went up by 2.6 percent.

Definitely good news for the girls, whose wages are more or less keeping up with inflation. A few more years like 2010, and women's wages could actually overtake those enjoyed by the hairy half of the population.

So what is going wrong, boys? However, I can't promise to spend much time thinking on that thorny issue; I am now off to Tesco. What can I buy with twenty nine pence?

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