The Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings was published today by the Northern Ireland Statistics & Research Agency.
Weekly earnings increase in cash terms but decrease in real terms.
Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) results show that median gross weekly earnings for full-time employees in NI were £501 at April 2017, up 1.5% over the year. This is the first time median gross weekly earnings in NI have exceeded £500.
UK median gross weekly earnings for full-time employees increased by 2.2% to £550.
When adjusted for inflation, NI and UK earnings decreased over the year by 1.0% and 0.4% respectively.
NI earnings remained well below the UK average and were the third lowest of the 12 UK regions (an improvement in rank from 2016). The ratio of NI to UK gross weekly earnings for full-time employees has fallen over the last two years. However at 91% it still remains higher than the ratios recorded prior to 2015.
— Armagh I (@ArmaghI) October 26, 2017
Greater increase in private sector earnings compared to public sector
The increase in median gross weekly earnings was more marked in the private sector than in the public sector. The full-time median gross weekly earnings in the private sector increased by 3.0% to £446, compared to a 1.0% increase in the public sector, to £623.
Those in the lowest 10% of the private sector full-time weekly earnings distribution experienced a much larger increase (5.2%) than those in the highest 10% (0.7%). The majority of those in the bottom 10% are on the National Living Wage and this is a clear indication of its continued impact.
Full-time median weekly earnings in the private sector in NI were 28% lower than in the public sector at April 2017. In the UK, the equivalent median gross weekly earnings for full-time employees were 11% lower in the private sector than in the public sector.
Earnings of public sector employees in NI were 4.0% higher than in the UK, whilst earnings of private sector employees were 16.1% lower in NI than in the UK.
— Armagh I (@ArmaghI) October 26, 2017
Annual earnings increased marginally (0.1%) for all full-time employees in NI over the year to £25,999, but remained lower than the UK median of £28,758 (2.0% increase from 2016).
Hourly earnings higher for full-time females than males
Full-time median hourly earnings for females (£12.67) were 3% greater than those for full-time males (£12.25). Full-time median hourly earnings for females in NI have been higher or equal to males since 2010. This is in contrast to the UK, where full-time median hourly earnings for males (£14.48) were 10% greater than those for full-time females (£13.16).
Full-time hourly earnings for females are higher than males as a greater proportion of females work in the highest paid occupation groups.
Although the median part-time hourly earnings for females is also higher than males, when all employees are considered (both full-time and part-time) males earn more than females (by £1.00 an hour). This is because part-time workers earn less on average than full-time workers and a higher proportion of females than males are part-time.
— Armagh I (@ArmaghI) October 25, 2017
Impact of the National Minimum/Living Wage
The proportion of employees paid close to the national minimum/living wage has increased. In 2007 8% of employees aged 22 and over were paid +/- 20p of the national minimum wage of £5.52. This can be compared to 11% of employees aged 25 and over who were paid +/- 20p of the national living wage of £7.50 in 2017.
Total weekly hours worked by full-time employees increased by 0.2 hours over the year to 38.2 hours, and are now 0.7 hours higher than the UK.
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