Quite Polly

If you want to find figures that make the public sector seem lush then ONS statistics show that, overall, public employees are slightly better paid. But that takes no account of the different levels of jobs. Since hospital, school and local authority manual work is mostly contracted out, there is a five times higher proportion of what the ONS calls "elementary" jobs in the private sector, which makes their crude average pay appear lower. The public sector, stripped of its humbler jobs, now consists of 24.5% professionals, while the private sector has only 8.6%. But average it all together, and of course it looks as if the public sector is fatter.

Now go and do these sums again looking at male and female pay. You\’ll find that most of the gender pay gap disappears in a similar fog of different jobs, different qualification levels, different numbers of years in the workforce and so on.

But you won\’t will you?

3 comments on “Quite Polly

  1. She’s also shameless in that the Taxpayers Alliance
    responded to
    her earlier claims about public service pay by pointing out that at every level public service pay is greater than private. She has simply chosen to ignore this. (Of course, she might think she can show that that is wrong, but in that case she’d be shouting it from the rooftops).

  2. I should also point out that she cannot be unaware of Tim’s point about the gender gap, because many people have made it. But she chooses to ignore that as well.

    Tim adds: I’ve made it directly to her in email. All I got back was a “mumble, mumble”.

  3. Is it really worth critiquing Polly?
    Poll emotes for the section of the Guardian readership that wants to be emoted at. Apart from that, there’s very little going on at all. A sort of logic free area for people who don’t like logic. Like meat free sausages.

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