Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Part-time female workers earn more than men, figures show

Analysis shows headline gender pay gap is ‘misleading’ says business group
Women working part-time earn more on average than men in a reversal of the traditional gender pay gap, according to a new analysis of official statistics.

Full-time male workers earn 11.7 per cent more than their female counterparts, but the opposite was true for part-time employees, the Federation of European Employers (FedEE) said.

The median hourly earnings for part-time women last year were 4.8 per cent higher than for part-time men, at £8.03 and £7.66 respectively, with the difference attributable to wages recorded within the 22 to 39-year-old age group.

“This shows how the overall figures for the
gender pay gap are highly misleading,” said Robin Chater, the secretary-general of the FedEE.

“The size of the gap is largely because a much higher proportion of women work part-time than men, and part-time earnings for both genders are lower than for full-time work. Where women compete on equal terms with men –
in the part-time jobs market – they actually earn more than men.”

The FedEE analysis was of figures released last week by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Its 2011 Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings showed that median gross weekly earnings for full-time employees were £498. For men, full-time wages were £538, compared with £440 for women.

The statistics also found that salaries for full-time staff were highest in London at £649, and lowest in Northern Ireland at £446.

Meanwhile, a report from the GMB union compiled from separate ONS population data, revealed that the largest proportion of part-time workers in Great Britain could be found in the south-west, where 28.5 per cent of the workforce were employed on a part-time basis.

This was followed by Wales (27.4 per cent) and the south-east (26.9 per cent) – the region which also recorded the largest number of part-time staff at 1,080,700. London was the region with the lowest proportion of part-time workers at 21.6 per cent.

At a more local level, the Shetland Islands was the council area with the greatest share of part-timers at 34.3 per cent, followed by the Isle of Wight at 33.6 per cent. Westminster had the smallest proportion at 12.7 per cent.

Overall, 25.7 per cent – or 7,222,500 – of British employees worked part-time, said the study. But many of these employees would prefer a full-time job, the union claimed.

“This mushrooming of part-time jobs is often at the expense of full-time employment and on too many occasions part-time working is characterised by low pay, insecurity and bad conditions,” said Kamaljeet Jandu, GMB’s equality national officer.
Source: PM

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