The global monetary system represents an infinitely complex series of conditions, transactions, and relationships, each impacting how the overall economy performs. With so many factors influencing financial outcomes across the globe, it can be hard to pinpoint strict cause-and-effect relationships.
Despite their best efforts to predict future finance and identify trends in lending, banking, and, consumerism, economists don’t always agree on business and banking policies. In one area, however, most observers are on the same page. When it comes to wages and compensation, almost everyone can agree women and men should receive equal pay for equal work.
For UK families trying to get ahead on two salaries, pay equity is more than a lofty concept – it’s an authentic finance issue, which can have a big impact on Britons’ lifestyles. A recent look by the ONS showed UK earners have cause for an upbeat outlook, as current pay equity figures highlight a positive labour trend.
Data Shows Gender Pay Gap Drop
The Office of National Statistics (ONS) recently examined pay trends and came to a positive conclusion for UK workers. According to the agency, the gender pay gap appears to have fallen to the lowest level seen. After considering data for the year to April, ONS came to the conclusion the pay gap has fallen to 8.6 percent, representing a drop, compared to last year’s 9.1 per cent.
Detractors point to missed opportunities to close the gap even further, but the historic progress can’t be ignored. The pay gap is down to its lowest level yet. The new figure essentially means the average woman working full-time now makes 8.6 per cent less than the average man employed within the same geographic territory. Though men and women exhibit different spending habits, both groups have access to short-term finance and revolving credit accounts. Readies highlights interest rates and loan options online; most are available without extensive credit checks. The gender pay gap does not interfere with loan approval for qualified applicants.
Though the move toward better pay equity has been far from rapid, the pay gap has nonetheless shown a progressive decline in recent years. In 2013, for example, the figure held close to 10 per cent, so with today’s gap nearing the 8 per cent mark, substantial progress is evident, in just a five-year period.
Age-Related Pay Gap Trends
Within the group of workers studied, there was significant variance in pay equity, relative to the age of employees. Older women were far more likely to experience large pay gaps than their younger counterparts were. For workers under age 39, ONS saw the pay gap as insignificant, and the organization also reported marked narrowing of the pay gap for working women between the ages of 40 and 49.
Pressure groups take issue with the rate of performance, indicating that it will take more than 50 years to reach absolute pay equity, unless the pace is accelerated. It is worth pointing out, however, that the pay gap for workers in their 20’s is only 1.3 per cent. As employment changes and shifting social attitudes paint a bright picture for young working women in the UK, the group between 50-59 years of age, currently employed full-time, may presently experience a pay gap closer to 15 per cent – an unacceptable condition for equal pay advocates.
Wages are on the rise. Unfortunately, the earnings bump is largely absorbed by the inflation-driven price increases squeezing UK families. The last thing older working women can afford is pay gap pressure, leaving them with less to spend than men doing similar jobs. Although the narrowing pay gap promises parity for the next working generation, the news from ONS would be even better if older working women saw similar prospects, in the near term.