Women lead Britain to fresh employment high while the pay squeeze continues

Published on Jobs, Skills and Pay


Women working in full-time employee jobs have accounted for 58 per cent of all jobs growth in the last year, despite the recent focus on men in the gig economy, the Resolution Foundation said today (Wednesday) in response to the latest labour market figures.

Real earnings fell by -0.5 per cent in the three months to May, a slight easing on the previous month (-0.6 per cent) due to stronger nominal pay growth. Average private sector pay fell by 0.3 percent, and by 1.1 per cent in the public sector.

The big picture on pay remains weak, with the UK on course to experience the worst decade for pay growth in over 200 years.

In contrast, employment reached a new high and is on course to break the 75 per cent barrier in the coming months.

The Foundation notes that for all the focus on the gig economy, all of the jobs growth in the last 12 months has been in full-time employee roles, with women accounting for most of this. Self-employment has accounted for just 4 per cent of jobs growth over the same period.

Stephen Clarke, Policy Analyst at the Resolution Foundation, said:

“For the first time this year the pay squeeze has stopped getting deeper. However, with wages on course to shrink for the rest of the year at least, a return to the levels of pay we enjoyed before the financial crisis looks even further away.

“But while Britain gets poorer, more people are working than ever before. And although the Taylor Review has put the quality of those jobs under scrutiny, particularly men driving people and food around in the gig economy, the majority of jobs growth in the last year has been among women working in full-time employee roles.”