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?