Wales Institute of Social & Economic Research, Data & Methods
Sefydliad Ymchwil Gymdeithasol ac Economaidd, Data a Dulliau Cymru

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The Gender Pay Gap in Wales

Start Date: February 2009
End Date: May 2009
Funder: Equality and Human Rights Commission

Research team

Professor David Blackaby (WISERD Swansea)
Dr Melanie Jones (Swansea University)
Professor Philip Murphy (Swansea University)
Nigel O’Leary (Swansea University)
Sami Souabni (Swansea University)


The aims of the project were to examine the pay statistics for Wales, for 2008 and other relevant years to determine possible reasons for the widening of the pay gap between women and men.


The research methodology was desk based analysis of published data sets, primarily, Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) and the New Earnings Survey (NES). 


Following data released by the Office for National Statistics on 14 November 2008 which showed that the full-time pay gap in Wales had risen to 12.7%, up from 10.3% in 2007, Kate Bennett, National Director for Wales, Equality and Human Rights Commission said:

“We are extremely concerned to see that the pay gap between men and women has widened in Wales.  This has a huge impact on family income.  It comes at a time when many are feeling the pinch and every penny counts.  Women cannot afford to be short-changed in this way.

We are determined to find out why the pay gap is worsening and what action can be taken to protect women’s pay.  We will be working to push fair pay for women to the top of the political agenda.

It is now more urgent than ever that employers check they are paying women fairly and take action to close the pay gaps.”

“The figure in Wales compares with a 17.1% gap at UK level, which is up from 17.0%.”

“The part-time gender pay gap in Wales has risen to 33.7%, from 29.2% in 2007.”

The research project examined earnings:

  • for hourly, weekly and annual employment;
  • by manual and non-manual work;
  • by occupation;
  • by sector and industry;
  • by Welsh unitary authority;
  • in Wales in comparison with other areas of Britain

ASHE/NES data were also used to examine:

  • the relative earnings of women and men at different points of the earnings distribution;
  • trends in the gender pay gap over time;
  • age and cohort effects on the pay gap


The final report can be viewed here: The Gender Pay Gap in Wales



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