Gender pay gap in Wigan is shrinking

The gender pay gap for full-time workers in Wigan shrank slightly over the last year, official figures reveal.

Tuesday, 12th November 2019, 2:39 pm
A charity says that at the rate things are going it would be another 60 years before men and women earn the same

It now stands at 12 per cent hourly, compared to 12.2 in 2018, Office for National Statistics data shows.

They reveal women take home an average annual salary of £23,839: £5,568 less than the average man’s salary of £29,407.

The average pay figures for workers who live in Wigan, are calculated using a median, rather than mean, average, to stop them being skewed by particularly small or large pay packets.

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Across the UK, male workers in full-time jobs now earn 8.9 per cent more than their female counterparts.

This represents a slight rise from 8.6 per cent last year, which was the first increase in six years.

But ONS statistician Roger Smith said the national increase was not “statistically significant”, adding it is too early to say if it marks a change in trend.

“We also saw an increase in 2013 followed by a return to downward trend in subsequent years,” he added.

“However, the downward trend is a slow one regardless.”

For people aged under 40, the wage gap for full-time employees is now “close to zero”, the ONS said.

Yet it widens among 40 to 49-year-olds to 11.4 per cent, stretching to more than 15 per cent among 50 to 59 year olds and those over 60 – a difference that is “not declining strongly over time”.

The ONS attributes this to older women being “more likely” to work in lower-paid jobs than younger ones, and less likely to fill managerial roles.

In Wigan, the difference in pay between male and female workers, including those in part-time jobs, decreased from 22.7 per cent in 2018 to 18.4 this year.

This divide can partly be explained by the number of women working part-time.

An estimated 25,000 women in Wigan were in part-time work last year, around 43 per cent of the female workforce, of the 55,000 working men, 6,000 (11 per cent) were in part-time work.

Gender equality charity the Fawcett Society called progress on closing the gender pay gap “dismally slow”, adding that it would take 60 years to accomplish at the current rate.