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.

by Rebecca Burn-Callander

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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