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Monday, November 28, 2011

Women's pay to overtake men's by 2020

Women’s pay will overtake men’s within a decade if current trends in the labour market continue, new figures from the Government show.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said that the “gender pay gap” – the difference between average salaries of men and women – has fallen to under 10 per cent for the first time ever.

Its figures show that women in full-time work are seeing their wages grow at more than twice the rate of men. If the growth continues at current levels, women could start to earn more than men in 2020, over 50 years ahead of some recent forecasts.

The ONS said that earnings for a man in full-time employment, excluding over-time, stood at £13.11 an hour in April 2011, an increase of 0.8 per cent on the year before. Equivalent earnings for a woman were £11.91 an hour, an increase of 1.9 per cent on the year before.

If women’s hourly pay continues to grow at over double the rate of men’s pay, women will start to earn more than men in nine years’ time. On the current trajectory, a woman will earn £14.09 an hour in 2020, compared to £14.06 for a man.

Economists and union leaders welcomed the shrinking gender gap, particularly as it suggests that equal wages will be reached at a far earlier date than previously thought. A report last year published by the Chartered Management Institute suggested that it will be 2067 before women’s take-home pay is equal to men’s. more