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Action needed to bridge pay gap


David Elliott, Business Editor

David Elliott, Business Editor

David Elliott, Business Editor

Where to begin with the latest employment statistics? Obviously the still-gapping 45% premium paid to public sector workers is the figure which jumps out most but there are a plethora of other stats which make you sit up and take notice.


The 82% pay gap between Northern Ireland and UK as a whole is one, and goes some way to explaining the reason why our own sectoral disparity is so vast.

It highlights that our private sector is still struggling to keep up with the rest of the UK.

And it is definitely, as commentators have pointed out earlier in this newspaper, contributing to the two-tiered employment market.

The message to take away is that the private sector needs to grow, not just by a little but by a lot.

London, with its wickedly high salaries, obviously skews the data slightly but it's still a big differential and one that is a worry to policy makers. But it's all too easy to tell the private sector to buck up its ideas.

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The reality is that its very difficult to drive the private sector when all the talent is flowing into the public sector.

Something has to be done to reverse the trend in the increasing gap between private and public sector pay or else all the statistics mentioned above will widen further.

It won't be easy but action needs to be taken.