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Gender pay gap falls to 9.6% in 2012

Released: 22 November 2012 Download PDF

The gender pay gap fell to 9.6% in April 2012, according to new figures from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) published today.

The gender pay gap – which is the difference between men’s and women’s median hourly pay excluding overtime for full-time employees – stood at 10.5% in 2011. This year’s fall continues a general downward trend in the pay gap in recent years. For part-timers, the pay gap remains negative, meaning women are better paid than men. Here the gap widened slightly, at -5.2% in 2012 compared with -5.1% in 2011. Looking at all employees, the gender pay gap is bigger than for full-timers but has again fallen between 2011 and 2012 (19.7% in 2012, down from 20.2% in 2011). This is affected by the higher proportion of women than men who work part-time, as part-timers tend to have lower hourly rates.

Other data in ASHE show that median gross weekly earnings for full-timers, at £506, were up by 1.5% on the 2011 figure of £498. Public sector workers saw a rise of 1.6% (from £556 in 2011 to £565 this year) while in the private sector the increase was 1.5% (£472 a week in 2011, £479 in 2012).

There was a narrowing in the gap between the highest and lowest paid employees: between 2011 and 2012, the hourly earnings excluding overtime of full-timers at the top decile point fell by 0.2%, whereas those at the bottom decile point saw an increase of 2.3%.

The region where employees had the highest median gross weekly earnings was London, at £653, and the region with the lowest earnings was Wales at £453. The district with the highest-paying jobs was the City of London (a median of £917 a week full-time) and the district with the lowest-paid jobs was Torridge (£348 a week full-time).

Background notes

  1. A statistical bulletin giving more detail from the 2012 ASHE is available at:
  2. ASHE is based on a 1% sample of employee jobs taken from HM Revenue & Customs PAYE records. Information on earnings and hours is obtained from employers and treated confidentially. ASHE does not cover the self-employed nor does it cover employees not paid during the reference period. In 2012 information related to the pay period which included 18 April.

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  4. Details of the policy governing the release of new data are available from the media relations office.
  5. National Statistics are produced to high professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics. They undergo regular quality assurance reviews to ensure that they meet customer needs. They are produced free from any political interference. © Crown copyright 2012.


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