The gender pay gap for hourly earnings, excluding overtime; April 1998 to April 2005
The gender pay gap (as measured by the median hourly pay of full-time employees, excluding overtime) narrowed between 2004 and 2005 to its lowest value since records began. The gap between women's median hourly pay and men's was 13.0 per cent, compared with the 14.5 per cent recorded in April 2004. The median hourly rate for men went up 3.1 per cent to £11.31, while the rate for women increased by 4.9 per cent to £9.84.
The largest difference was in East Midlands where women's median pay was 15.9 per cent less than men's. The smallest gap was in Northern Ireland, at 4.2 per cent.
On the internationally comparable measure based on mean earnings, women's average hourly pay (excluding overtime) was 17.1 per cent less than men's pay, a narrowing compared to the 2004 figure of 17.8 per cent.
Median weekly earnings of full-time employees in 2005 for women (£372) were 21.1 per cent less than those for men (£471), down 1.4 percentage points from 2004 (22.5 per cent).
Women's weekly earnings, including overtime, were lower than men's, partly because they worked fewer hours per week. However, women's earnings increased faster across the distribution compared with men's. The full-time hourly earnings excluding overtime of the bottom 10 per cent of women grew by 3.8 per cent compared with 3.0 per cent for their male counterparts. In comparison, the hourly earnings of the top 10 per cent grew by 5.5 per cent and 4.5 per cent respectively.
Although median hourly pay provides a useful comparison between the earnings of men and women, it does not necessarily indicate differences in rates of pay for comparable jobs. Pay medians are affected by the different work patterns of men and women, such as the proportions in different occupations and their length of time in jobs.
Source: Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings
Notes: The median is the value below which 50 per cent of employees fall.
Pay refers to gross pay (before tax) of full-time employees on adult rates whose pay for the survey week was unaffected by absence.
The Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings is based on a 1 per cent sample of employees in United Kingdom and in 2005 information was collected for the pay period that included 6 April.