Pay inequality among men driven by part-time work
Rachel Muller-Heyndyk, January 15, 2018
These figures don’t resonate at all so not sure it includes interim project management type gigs etc. not for me Or 5-6 colleagues I have known over past 18-48 months. We on average earn £350- £875 ...
Read More John Ludike
January 16, 2018 08:46
Men on lower wages are working fewer hours, while higher-paid men are working more
This has led to a ‘hollowing out’ of the workforce with fewer middle earners, according to research from the Resolution Foundation. Counting the hours found that the share of men earning less than £175 a week has increased by 70% over the last 20 years, while the share of men earning more than £1,060 a week (double the UK median weekly wage) has increased by 15%.
The Foundation's research found that while women still dominate part-time and low-paid work, men are beginning to join them. Part-time and full-time female workers have increased their hours over the past 20 years. (Part-time women worked 18 hours in 1997, and now work up to 19.3 hours a week, while full-time women have increased their hours from 34.8 to 35.1 a week.)
This report undermines the commonly-held view that differences in pay among men are due to the loss of mid-skilled jobs in areas such as manufacturing, instead highlighting a change in men’s working patterns over the last two decades. The report found that the number of male part-time employees has increased by more than 50% since 1997.
Stephen Clarke, research and policy analyst at the Resolution Foundation, said: “When people talk about the labour market ‘hollowing out’ they’re normally referring to mid-skilled jobs moving to other parts of the world, or disappearing as a result of automation.
“But Britain’s real hollowing out problem has much more to do with the hours people are working than the rates of pay different jobs bring. The increase in earning inequality among men is about the increasing number of low-paid men who are either reducing their hours or moving into part-time work.”
The report also reveals a growing divide in the number of hours that men working full time do. The average number of hours worked by low-paid men has fallen from 44.3 in 1997 to 42.2 in 2016, while increasing by 0.5 hours to 37.3 for high-paid men.
Furthermore, while levels of underemployment are stable for highly-paid workers, they are above average for lower-paid men. Underemployment averaged 12% for lower-paid workers in 2001, and is now at 14.5%.
The report called for policymakers to be alert towards people taking up low paid-jobs with few hours against their will. “Stronger pay rises and funding work will always be the best and most direct way for households to boost their incomes," said Clarke. "But being able to work the hours you want or need to get by also matters hugely.”