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Women's pay and poverty


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Jackie Longworth, Gender & Austerity Research Symposium, May 2013

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Women's pay and poverty

  1. 1. WOMEN’S PAY ANDPOVERTYProvisional Data from the ONS 2012Annual Survey of Hours and EarningsJackie LongworthFair Play South West
  2. 2. Outline• In work poverty and poverty pay• Key points about ASHE data• Gender pay gaps• Poverty: Results for the South West• Geographical variations• Changes since 2009• Some thoughts on causes – what women say• Conclusions
  3. 3. In work Poverty• More than 50% of children in poverty live inhouseholds with at least one wage earner• Joseph Rowntree Foundation and others• “Poverty” based on income = pay + Benefits• low pay is subsidised by benefits• but benefits are not usually enough to lift someone out of poverty• “Poverty” based on household income• so hides the poverty of women in households where income is notdistributed evenly• This analysis looks only at individual pay in thecontext of individual poverty
  4. 4. Official “Poverty” Income Threshold• Relative Poverty Threshold• Defined as a household income of 60% of themedian household income• The benefits cap will be set at theaverage net earned income of working households• £350 per week for single adult, no children• £500 per week for couple or lone parent with children• Deduced value of defined relative poverty threshold• £210 per week for single adult, no children• £300 per week for couple or lone parent with children
  5. 5. Minimum Income Standard and Living Wage• MIS Established in 2008 by Joseph Rowntree Foundation• Varies by family type, for example• £474 per week for couple with one child (cf official poverty £300)• £461 per week for lone parent with two children (cf 300)• £243 per week for single pensioner (cf £210)• Living Wage of £7.45 per hour would mean:• £400 per week in a household with one full time (37.5 hours) and onepart time (16 hours) earner• £223.5 per week for “full time” single earner (30 hours a week)• £279.4 per week for 37.5 hours a week• The “living wage” is a good proxy for poverty pay!
  6. 6. Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings• Hours and earnings data from employers• Based on 1% survey of jobs in PAYE records• Corrected for bias in types of respondent• Does not include self-employed• Refers to a specified “window” of time• Supplemented by Labour Force Survey• Based on a person’s recollection• May be filled in by a proxy• Gives useful information about personal characteristics• Very time consuming to analyse!
  7. 7. Gender Pay Gap (s)• Confusion of definition!• Mean = difference between average pay of women and men• Median = difference between the pay of 50% of men compared with50% of women• Confusion of working pattern!• Full time women compared with full time men• Part time women compared with part time men• Part time women compared with full time men• All women compared with all men• Current government is headlining full time medianhourly pay, (excluding overtime) - very misleading• Few working men are part time, (15% in the SW in 2012)• Many working women are part time, (49% in the SW in 2012)
  8. 8. 2012 hourly gender pay gaps, median• Full time women to full time men• Government’s head line gap (UK)• 9.6%• Gap from my analysis of full time ONS data is• 11% England,• 13% SW• All employees (full and part time)• 21% England• 19% SW• Part time women to full time men• 40% England• 34% SW
  9. 9. In the SW, 28% of women and 16% of menearn less than the Living Wage per hour05101520253010 20 25 30 40 50 60 70 75 80 902012 Hourly Pay by percentile -all employees SWmens hourly paywomens hourly payLiving wage
  10. 10. In the SW, 47% of Women and 19% of Menearn less than the Living Wage per week02004006008001000120010 20 25 30 40 50 60 70 75 80 902012 Gross weekly wage percentilesMens PayWomens PayLiving wage
  11. 11. The proportion of women earning less than the living wage perweek is higher in the SW than across England (47% cf 42%)02004006008001000120010 20 25 30 40 50 60 70 75 80 90SW MenEngland MenSW WomenEngland WomenLiving wage
  12. 12. There are bigger geographical variations across the region0%10%20%30%40%50%60%70%% people earning less than living wage per weekMenWomen
  13. 13. Comparisons 2009 to 2012 – South West• Number of employees• Women up 2%, men up 5%• Number of part time employees• Women up 7%,• Median hourly pay• Women up 5%, men up 2%• Part time women up 5.6%• Median weekly pay• Women up 2.3%, men up 1.9%• Median pay gap (all women to all men)• Hourly, down from 22% to 19%• Weekly, unchanged at 38%
  14. 14. Slightly more women were earning less than the livingwage per week in 2009 (48.5% cf 47%)02004006008001000120010 20 25 30 40 50 60 70 75 80 90Gross weekly pay percentiles2009 and 2012Mens pay 2009Womens pay 2009Living wageMens Pay 2012Womens Pay 2012
  15. 15. Issues which push women into low paid, oftenlow skilled, work – from FPSW events• Unavailability of conveniently located, conveniently timed, highquality, affordable childcare• Government policy has increased demand but not supply (Women’s Budget Group)• Public transport not tailored to women’s needs• Women with no access to private car are forced to work near home or school• Uneven geographical availability of well-paid jobs• Local jobs in rural or urban residential areas are usually low paid• Unavailability of the option of part-time or flexible working inhigh quality, well-paid jobs• Large numbers of women “downsize” their pay and position when returning to work• Undervaluing of work traditionally done by women• Inadequacy of information, advice and guidance to both girls atschool and adult women about career and study options
  16. 16. Conclusions• Paid employment is not a secure route out of poverty or off benefits• 47% of working women earn less than a living wage per week• Women’s low weekly earnings are due to both low hourly pay andpart time working• 28% of working women earn less than a living wage per hour• 49% of working women work part time (less than 30 hours a week)• Compared with 2009, in 2012 women worked fewer hours per week• Full time women moving to part time (total up 2%, part time up 7%)• Median hourly pay up 5%, median weekly pay up 2.3%• Cutting women’s benefits is not going to lift them out of poverty!• Government policy should focus on:• Subsidising and providing more good quality flexible childcare• Growth of well paid flexible jobs in accessible places for women• Raising the minimum wage to at least the living wage• Reducing stereotyping in IAG services
  17. 17. Contact Details• Fair Play South West•• C/o Equality Southwest• Somerset College, Wellington Road, Taunton TA1 5AX• Lou MaddocksAdministration OfficerEquality South WestTel: 01823 240260E-mail: