The gap between public and private sector pay is widest at the bottom end of the pay scale, a new report demonstrates.

The ONS analysis was based on characteristics collected in the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE).

Including the effects of organisation size and comparing the lowest earners at the 5thpercentile, employees in the public sector earned on average 11.2% more than those in the private sector.

Considering the 95th percentile, public sector employees earn 10.3% less.

These differences are likely to be due to the private sector having more jobs paid close to the National Minimum Wage at the bottom of the pay distribution and having very high wages at the top, the ONS suggested.

Across the whole pay distribution, public sector pay was 2.2% higher on average. The north east and Northern Ireland had the largest gaps in favour of the public sector, and in London workers in the public sector earn less on average.

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