Widening pay gap highlighted

Between 2000 and 2013 the pay gap between the top 10 per cent and the bottom 10 per cent of earners rose by 5 per cent, according to a new analysis from the Trades Union Congress, released to mark the beginning of 'Fair Pay Fortnight'. 

Key points

  • Data on full-time earnings from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings show that between 2000 and 2013 the pay gap between the top 10 per cent and the bottom 10 per cent of earners rose by 5 per cent. The increase was greatest in London, where the pay gap rose by 14 per cent.
  • Across most of the rest of the country the pay inequality ratio is also rising – up by 9 per cent in the south east of England, 7 per cent in the west midlands, 5 per cent in the east midlands, 4 per cent in the north west, 3 per cent in the east, and 2 per cent in Scotland and the north east. Only Wales and the south west have seen pay inequality decrease over the last 13 years.
  • Comparing the pay gap between the top 90 per cent of earners and those earning a median wage paints a similar picture of rising wage inequality. By this measure inequality has risen by 4.5 per cent across the UK, with the largest rise (8.5 per cent) in London.
  • The highest top earners are in London where they receive £82,000 a year. In contrast, top earners in Wales get just £43,000 a year.
  • Workers on the bottom 10th percentile in London earn less than £18,000 a year, compared with less than £14,800 in the rest of the UK.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: 'This new analysis shows how wage inequality has soared in parts of the UK over the last decade. This growing pay gap is bad news for our economy and bad news for living standards... Everyone must benefit from the recovery, not just those at the top. The TUC wants to see a greater commitment to pay the living wage from both government and employers, a crackdown on excessive executive pay, and modern wages councils which could set higher minimum wages where employers can afford to pay more'.

Source: Press release 24 March 2014, Trades Union Congress
Links: TUC press release | Guardian report

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Publication date: 
Mar 24 2014