- Much more low-paid men now work part-time compared with 20 years ago.
- The trend pre-dates the 2008 crisis and recession.
- The trend is going the opposite way for women.
LONDON — Four times more men in low-paid jobs now work part-time compared with 20 years ago, driving inequality, according to a new study.
The report, from the Institute for Fiscal Studies, found that one in five low-paid men work fewer than 30 hours a week, up from one in 20 in the 1990s.
The IFS said it was a “dramatic rise,” and a steady trend that pre-dated the 2008 financial crisis and recession.
The bottom 20% of earners got less than £7.60 an hour, according to the study.
Jonathan Cribb, a senior research economist at IFS, said: “The number of low-wage men working part time has increased sharply over the last twenty years.”
“To understand the drivers of inequality in the UK it is vital to understand the growing association between low hourly wages and low hours of work among men,” Cribb said.
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While only 5% of top-earning men normally work part-time, 20% of the lowest paid now work part-time, the IFS said. But the trend is different for women.
“At the 10th percentile, weekly earnings rose by 60% between 1994-95 and 2014-15; at the 90th percentile they rose by 29%,” the IFS said. “This is because the proportion of women working part-time has fallen, especially among those with low hourly wages.”
The report also found that tax credits did work to reduce inequality in net household incomes even where earnings inequality has risen.
Chris Belfield, an IFS research economist said: “In the last twenty years, the incomes of the top 1% have pulled further away from the rest.”
“But across the vast majority of the population income inequality has actually fallen,” he said. “However, in large part this is because the tax and benefit system has worked increasingly hard to offset disparities in the pay brought home by working households, and because of the catch-up of pensioners with those of working age, as well as falls in worklessness.”