By Daniel Hunter

According to data released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) today (Tuesday) the average worker in the public sector was paid 8.2% more per hour than their private sector counterpart.

However, the ONS were quick to stress the difficulty in reaching this figure, in part down to the problems of matching skills and jobs.

"It is difficult to make comparisons of the two sectors because of differences in the types of job and characteristics of employees," a statement from the ONS read.

"Allowing for these differences as far as possible, in 2011, public sector employees were paid on average between 7.7% and 8.7% more than private sector employees.

"For consistency over time, these estimates assume employees of those banks reclassified to the public sector in 2008 were in the private sector throughout."

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