High paid jobs fuel wage inequality

CleanerJobs including chief executives and managers have contributed to the rise in wage inequality in recent decades, research has shown.

Highly paid jobs have become even better paid, including company executives and general managers of large organisations whose hourly pay jumped from £12.07 in 1975 to £49.20 in 1996, according to the study by Dr Mark Williams of the London School of Economics and political science.

The sharpest growth in inequality was between 1975 and 1996, followed by a more stable pattern, said the report.

Dr Williams said: "My research clearly shows that the biggest single reason for the growth in inequality has been that highly-paid jobs have become even more highly-paid.

This is also the first study to identify the professions which have had the biggest effect. It is very striking how just a handful of occupations, mostly managerial and professional, are responsible for more than half of the inequality increase.

"Previously many have argued that widening pay gaps within professions were the primary source of British wage inequality. This study shows that is not the case."

Some of the top 20 inequality-causing occupations were less well-paid jobs, including goods vehicle drivers, kitchen porters and cleaners.

In these cases, their contribution came not from sharp wage rises but because the number of people working in those fields increased, affecting the overall structure of the wages market by accentuating differences between low and high earners.

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