Low Pay amongst Women—the Facts

  • P. J. Sloane
  • W. S. Siebert


In this paper low pay amongst women is taken to refer to those whose pay falls below the level of the lowest decile of the distribution of employment incomes of full-time manual men. A major source of information on the distribution of employment income is the New Earnings Survey, and this paper concentrates in the main on the results of the April 1976 survey, supplemented where necessary by other sources including the General Household Survey. However a number of features of the NES survey must be borne in mind in interpreting these results:
  1. (i)

    The information relates to a single pay period and is not necessarily representative of pay over a longer period. It generally excludes the value of payments in kind and income received from other concurrent employment.

  2. (ii)

    The number of variables for which cross-classification is available is small,1 and in particular it contains no information on the level of education of the employees in the sample.

  3. (iii)

    According to the Office of Manpower Economics 2 it is deficient in terms of the response from small employers. Since such employers tend to be low paying, and women tend to be over-represented here (see below), this might cause us to over-estimate average female pay.

  4. (iv)

    Occupational categories are broad, so that women are likely to be classified as being in the same occupational group as men, although differences in the work are such as to amount to a material difference under the terms of the Equal Pay Act 1970.



Manual Woman Collective Agreement Earning Distribution Hourly Earning Weekly Earning 
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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. J. Sloane
  • W. S. Siebert

There are no affiliations available

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