By Maximilian Clarke

Sales people are among the UK’s lowest paid professionals; men’s hourly pay for full time work is some 12% higher than women’s whilst for part time work wages are lower; and men earn up to four times as much per week from paid overtime than their female counterparts.

These are among the findings of the Office for National Statistics’ Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings. Gathered from a 1% sample of PAYE receipts from HM Revenue and Customs, the annual report provides the UK’s most in-depth analysis of earnings. Its veracity is further boosted by analysing median values, instead of the mean which tends to be more easily skewed by a handful of high earners.

Crucially, despite a marked rise in average wages, median weekly and annual wages have remained largely unchanged since 2000 when they were 0.5% and 0.6% higher than today. And coupled with inflation running at 2% for much of the decade, the typical UK household has seen a reduction in earnings. This reduction is further exacerbated by recent spikes in global commodity prices and wholesale energy costs which have together sapped disposable incomes leading to a nationwide collapse of consumer confidence. The result has been retail decline in highstreets and a surge in vacancy rates.

Perhaps more worryingly, nearly 300,000 jobs- 1.2% of the UK total- receive less than the National Minimum Wage, which recently rose 11p to £6.19p an hour.

40-49 year olds received by far the largest weekly earnings which, at £560 a week pre tax, are more than double those for 18 to 21 year olds.

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