Gender pay gap falls to record low
The gap among full-time workers fell to 8.6% in April 2018, down from 9.1% a year earlier.
This means women earn 8.6% less per hour, on average, than men.
The gap among all employees is higher at 17.9% driven by more women working in part-time jobs, which tend to be lower paid. The average hourly rate for part-time workers is £9.36 compared with £14.31 for full-time jobs.
According to the ONS, the pay gap varies depending on age.
Millennial women are closing in on equal pay, with those aged 22-29 earning just 1.3% less on average than their male counterparts.
However, the pay gap widens from age 30 onwards and remains well over 10% for those aged 40 or older
Laura Suter, personal finance analyst at AJ Bell, said: “These stats lay bare both the significant progress made in delivering pay equality over the past 20 years and the significant challenges that remain.
“Twenty years ago a woman in full-time work could expect to earn more than 17% less than her male counterpart – today that gap is below 9%.
She added: “Millennials appear to be leading the charge, with younger men and women edging towards pay parity.
“We now need to see this cohort of women encouraged to progress through to senior management roles. Focus should also turn to addressing the larger pay gaps that persist for older employees.”
The ONS figures also show average full-time weekly earnings increased by 3.5% over the last 12 months, the highest growth rate since 2008.
Steven Cameron, pensions director at Aegon, said: “Importantly, this is 1.2% above price inflation putting more purchasing power into workers’ pay packets.”
The figures show significant variation by geographical region, with London full-time workers taking home an average £713 per week compared to a UK average of £569, with the North East having the lowest average at £507.