Belfast Telegraph

Men 'are still earning more but women's pay is rising'

By Clare Weir

Men in Northern Ireland are still earning more than women, although average pay for women has increased by 72% over the last 16 years, a new study has shown.

The update of the Gender Equality Strategy Statistical Indicators showed that while median gross weekly earnings have risen steadily for both males and females, earnings for men were consistently higher than for women.

Median full-time weekly earnings for males increased from £319.40 in 1997 to £460.00 in 2010, representing an increase of 44%, while median full-time weekly earnings for females increased from £240.00 to £412.20 (or by 72%) over this period.

Median full-time gross hourly earnings excluding overtime are the same for both males and females.

For males it increased from £7.46 in 1997 to £10.85 in 2010, while for females from £6.23 to £10.86.

The study showed that the number of people of working age in employment has risen gradually and that working age females in employment have increased from 57.1% in 1992 to 64.0% in 2009. Numbers of working age males in employment have also increased from 69.3% in 1992 to a peak of 74.9% in 2007.

Meanwhile, the Higher Education Statistics Agency has revealed that in 2009/10, 60% (3,395) of the 5,630 full-time first degree graduates whose destinations were known, were in employment, and 10% were assumed to be unemployed.

Of the full-time first degree graduates who were reported as being in employment only, 94% (3,200) were employed in the UK. 32% were classified as professional occupations, 18% as associate professional and technical occupations, 22% as sales and customer service occupations and 8% as administrative and secretarial.

The median salary reported was £18,000, with the lower figure £14,000 and the upper figure £22,000 and mean salary was £19,000.

Ninety three per cent (3,450) of first degree leavers remained in Northern Ireland to take up employment and 7% (250) went to Great Britain.

Of the Northern Ireland students of UK Higher Education Institutions employed in the UK, 78% (4,115) of first degree leavers took up employment in Northern Ireland and 22% (1,160) went to Great Britain.