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Women’s Pay and Poverty

Women’s Pay and Poverty

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Women’s Pay and Poverty

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  1. Women’s Pay and Poverty Provisional Data from the ONS 2012 Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings Jackie Longworth Fair Play South West

  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. In work Poverty • More than 50% of children in poverty live in households 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 not distributed evenly • This analysis looks only at individual pay in the context of individual poverty

  4. Official “Poverty” Income Threshold • Relative Poverty Threshold • Defined as a household income of 60% of the medianhousehold income • The benefits cap will be set at the average 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. 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 hourwould mean: • £400 per week in a household with one full time (37.5 hours) and one part 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. 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. 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 with 50% 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 median hourly 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. 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. In the SW, 28% of women and 16% of men earn less than the Living Wage per hour

  10. In the SW, 47% of Womenand 19% of Men earn less than the Living Wage per week

  11. The proportion of women earning less than the living wage per week is higher in the SW than across England (47% cf 42%)

  12. There are bigger geographical variations across the region

  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. Slightly more women were earning less than the living wage per week in 2009 (48.5% cf 47%)

  15. Issues which push women into low paid, often low skilled, work – from FPSW events • Unavailability of conveniently located, conveniently timed, high quality, 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 in high 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 at school and adult women about career and study options

  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 and part 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. Contact Details • Fair Play South West • http://www.equalitysouthwest.org.uk/gender • C/o Equality Southwest • Somerset College, Wellington Road, Taunton TA1 5AX • Lou MaddocksAdministration OfficerEquality South WestTel: 01823 240260E-mail: Louise.maddocks@equalitysouthwest.org.uk