The UK gender Pay gap 1998-2013: What is the role of the public sector?

The Quarterly Labour Force Survey was used to compare gender wage gap in the public and private sectors between 1998 and 2013 and to identify the contribution of the sectoral employment allocation to the overall gender pay gap. The study covered a period of employment growth and deep recession and relative public sector growth followed by austerity. There are good reasons to expect that the gender pay gap is lower in the public sector and indeed this is what we observed. It is the intra-sector gender pay gaps which drive the overall gender pay gap and not the sector allocation and trends are similar in each sector. Following a long-term narrowing of the gender pay gap in both sectors, predominately reflecting relative improvements in women’s productivity-related characteristics, in 2010 this narrowing stalls in each sector and overall.