Measures of employee earnings, using data from the Annual Survey for Hours and Earnings (ASHE).
Earnings continue to grow at a similar rate recorded pre-covid
- Median gross weekly earnings for full-time employees in April 2022 increased by 2.9% from £575 in 2021 to £592 in 2022. This year’s increase is at a similar rate to the trends seen pre-pandemic.
- UK weekly earnings increased by 5.0% to £640. NI had the joint lowest increase in earnings across the 12 UK regions over the year and now ranks third lowest of the regions, with weekly earnings £48 below the UK average in 202
- Real weekly earnings in NI showed the largest annual decrease on record (4.5%), following the largest annual increase on record to 2021 (7.0%). Real earnings are now 50p higher than they were in 2019 (0.1%). Real UK weekly earnings decreased over the year to a lesser extent (2.6%), and remain 1.1% below 2019 real earnings.
Private sector pay grows faster than public sector pay
- Increases in weekly earnings were recorded for both the public and the private sector (3.1% and 7.3% respectively) over the year. The larger growth in the private sector has led to the smallest percentage difference in 20 years between the two sectors in NI (approximately 30%), as well as between NI and UK earnings in the private sector over the same period.
- Real earnings in the public sector showed no growth over the last decade, which was in contrast to growth of 11% in real earnings in the private sector.
Proportion of low-paid jobs in NI is the lowest on record
- Around 13% of all jobs in NI were ‘low-paid’ (based on OECD measure of low pay) in 2022. This is the lowest proportion in NI in 20 years but is the third highest proportion of the 12 UK regions.
- The proportion of jobs paid below the National Living Wage (NLW) and National Minimum Wage (NMW), was 2.0% in 2022. This is almost double the pre-COVID 2019 rate (1.1%), but is well below the 2020 and 2021 rates (11% and 5.8%), where 90% of those below these rates were on furlough.
Gender pay gap in favour of males in NI
- The gender pay gap for all employees (regardless of working pattern) in NI is in favour of males. Median hourly earnings (excluding overtime) for females (£12.82) was 4% below those for males (£13.99). This is an increase from the smallest gender pay gap on record in 2021 (4.7%), but is lower than the pre-pandemic rate (10%) and lower than the 15% gap recorded in the UK in the last three years.
Annual earnings increase over the year
- Median annual earnings increased by 3.2% for all full-time employees in NI over the year to £30,000, but remained lower than the UK median of £33,000. The highest 10% of earners earned approximately £54,500 and above.
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