By Rebecca Burn-Callander Thursday, 22 November 2012

Average UK salary hits £26,500

Britain's average annual earnings have crept up 1.4% for the year to April 2012 to reach £26,500. However, taking inflation into account, we're actually all slightly poorer.

The Office for National Statistics gives with one hand and takes away with the other. While, technically, the average earnings of Joe Public have increased 1.4% over the past year, pesky inflation, at 3.5% during the period, has actually resulted in a cut in real pay. This means that average annual earnings have shrunk by 2.1% for the year to April 2012.

Women are still broadly poorer than men, the ONS found, although the gender pay gap has narrowed to 9.6% from 10.5% last year. And if you compare private sector and public sector earnings, it still pays to work for the state. Full-time staff in the public sector saw their weekly pay rise by 1.6% to £565, while those in the private sector saw their earnings go up by 1.5% to £479.

The ONS insists that the difference is down to a preponderance of low paid jobs in the private sector and the concentration of better educated workers in the public sector. But then, as a quango on the government payroll, it would say that...

Picture: UK pound coins from BigStockPhoto

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