Within the working-age population in 2019, males across all qualification groups had higher median salaries than their female counterparts. The difference was most pronounced for graduates where the median salary for males was £10,000 more than that for females. The smallest gap in median salaries was between male and female non-graduates which reduced by £1,000 to £5,500 in 2019.
Since 2007 both males and females in all three qualification groups have experienced nominal salary growth, albeit not necessarily at constant rates. Whilst the growth rate of male and female non-graduates has been similar (therefore maintaining a relatively constant earnings gap), for graduates the faster salary growth rate of males in recent years has resulted in the gap between males and females increasing by £2,000 since 2016. This may be due to the different sectors that male and female graduates tend to seek employment in, with construction – likely to employ a larger proportion of men – having seen strong earnings growth in recent years (+£3,000 from 2018).
As with the working-age cohort, postgraduate males had the highest median salaries within the young population in 2019, while the female median salary was lower than for males across all qualification groups. The differences between genders were, however, smaller than for the working-age population, possibly reflecting the limited time for factors influencing the gender pay gap to set in. This gap was largest between postgraduate males and females at £5,000, an increase of £1,500 from 2018. For young graduates the gap remained the same as in 2018 at £3,500 whilst for young non-graduates the gap decreased by £500 to £3,000.
Males employed in banking and finance, transport and communication and construction had the highest working-age median salary (£45,000), whilst for the young population, males in public administration, banking and finance, and transport and communication had the highest median salaries (£30,000). For both cohorts, females employed in distribution, hotels and restaurants had the lowest median salaries, at £22,000 and £19,500 for the working-age and young populations respectively.
Across all industries, for both age cohorts, males had higher median salaries than females in 2018. The gap was largest for working-age graduates in the transport and communication sector, at £13,000. It was smallest for young graduates in the manufacturing sector, at £1,000. This provides some evidence that gender pay differences widen on average with increasing amounts of labour market experience in higher-paying industries.
For the working-age population, the gap between male and female median salaries increased from 2018 in banking and finance (+£2,000) and transport and communication (+£3,000). The largest decrease was in distribution, hotels and restaurants (-£2,500). Although, this was as a result of the male median salary in this sector falling rather than the female median salary rising.