Published: Fri, October 27, 2017
Business | By Max Garcia

UK Gender Pay Gap Drops to Record Low in 2017-ONS

The UK gender pay gap is still "decades" away from being closed, the TUC has warned, after official data showed that the difference between men's and women's pay had shrunk marginally this year.

The gender pay gap was widest for those aged between 30 and 35, where it stood at 22 per cent. In many cases, a greater drive to increase uptake of flexible working opportunities from government and employers will be required if we are to make further inroads into the equal pay gap. "They should be forced to explain how they'll close them", she said. At 34 per cent, the occupations with the biggest pay gap among full-time workers were town planners, musicians, and assemblers of vehicles and metal goods.

"However, higher inflation meant real earnings were down overall on the year for the first time since 2014". Weekly earnings adjusted for inflation were 0.4 per cent lower in April compared with a year earlier.

New figures published yesterday by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show South West workers are still £38 a week worse off than they were before the financial crash.

Inflation was 2.6 per cent in April, compared with just 0.7 per cent in April 2016.

Inflation has surged to a five-year high, increasing the costs of products and services and boosting the prospect of an interest rate hike.

Carole Easton, chief executive of Young Women's Trust, said young people were being hit hard by the fall in real wages.

The TUC pointed out that since 2011 the full-time pay gap has fallen by an average of just 0.2 percentage points annually, meaning that, at that rate, it would take around forty years to achieve pay parity. "At the current rate of progress, the pay gap will still exist by the time today's young women are retired".

In a report released by the ONS, it was revealed that weekly earnings for United Kingdom workers were up 2.2% to £550 in the year to April 2017, but adjusted for inflation that figure actually declined 0.4% compared with last year.

Average weekly earnings for full-time employees in the private sector were 532 pounds (702 US dollars), or up 2.8 percent on 2016, compared with a rise of 0.9 percent in the public sector to 599 pounds (790 USA dollars).

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