The median gross weekly earnings for full-time employees in the UK was £569 as at April 2018, a 3.5% improvement since 2017, according to research by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
Its Employee earnings in the UK: 2018 report, which uses data from the Annual survey of hours and earnings (ASHE), further noted that this 3.5% growth in earnings is the highest on record since 2008. Adjusted for inflation, weekly earnings increased by 1.2% between 2017 and 2018.
The growth in median gross weekly earnings for part-time employees in the UK between 2017 and 2018 is 2.9%; this is the first time since 2012 that growth in full-time employee pay has exceeded the growth in part-time employee pay.
Furthermore, employees that are continuously employed in full-time jobs in 2018 received median gross weekly earnings that are 5.2% higher than the median recorded for this in 2017. Around 81% of full-time employees are defined as continuously employed. The ONS attributes this to the pay increases continuously employed staff can experience, for example through progression of a pay scale, entitlement to a higher minimum wage and via pay settlements.
London has the highest median earnings for full-time employees as at April 2018, with staff able to earn £713 a week. The second highest region is the South East, with median earnings of £589 a week for full-time staff. London also ranks as having the highest gross weekly earnings for full-time staff in the UK, with £1,054 as at April 2018. This compares to the gross weekly earnings of £427 in Rother, which ranked the lowest.
Steven Cameron, pensions director at Aegon, said: “The latest figures from the ONS show median full-time weekly earnings have risen by 3.5% over the last 12 months, the highest growth rate since 2008. Importantly, this is 1.2% above price inflation, putting more purchasing power into [employees’] pay packets.
“However, the figures show significant variation by geographical region, with London full-time [employees] taking home an average £713 [a] week compared to a UK average of £569, with the North East having the lowest average at £507.”
In terms of gender, the report found that full-time gross weekly earnings peaked between the ages of 40 and 49 for men with £708, while women’s gross weekly earnings excelled between the ages of 30 and 39 with £575 as at April 2018.
“While the gender pay gap continues across every age band, it’s encouraging to see the ONS note [it] is close to zero for full-time [employees] aged 18-39,” Cameron added. “Over the last 20 years, it has fallen from 17.4% in 1998 to 8.6% in 2018. Hopefully, as the gender pay gap is eliminated, we’ll begin to see a narrowing of the gender pensions gap.”
Private sector pay increased by 3.5% between 2017 and 2018, compared to a 2.3% increase for employees working in the public sector.
In April 2018, the occupation group with the highest median weekly earnings for full-time employees in the UK was managers, directors and senior officials, with £835. This compares with caring, leisure and other service occupations, which were the lowest-paid group with median weekly earnings of £374.
Cameron said: “The figures also provide an update on how average pay compares between the private and public sectors. Median full-time earnings in the private sector remain at 90% of those in the public sector. However, these figures don’t take into account other benefits and many in the public sector benefit from more generous pensions, which mean the difference in overall remuneration is likely to be greater.”