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Springfords LLP blog

Some news, views and comments about everything and anything, relevant and irreverent.

The wages race - changes in pace!

17 July 2014

Women reach their peak at 34.  Men are actually hardly getting started at 17, but by the time they reach 49, their performance is better than ever.  

You thought the Office of National Statistics (ONS) wasn’t interested in that sort of thing.  Compiling the facts and figures that define the nation is not the sort of sober occupation that lends itself to such frivolous diversion and innuendo.

No, of course it doesn’t.  That’s why the number crunchers of the ONS are well rewarded for their due diligence.  It’s also why the latest profile of lifelong earnings among the workers of Britain reveal some facts that may be at variance with popular preconceptions, as some higher-paid, younger female statisticians may confirm.

Whatever else young men may excel at in their late teens, it’s not earning potential.  Along with all the other demands of early adulthood, they’ll have to cope with lighter wage packets than their elders.  It’s the same for young women too.  The youth of Britain may be blessed with equal stamina in their early years, but they’ll need it - probably to cope with the second jobs they’ll take on to make ends meet.  Are those youngsters asleep at their desks because they've been partying all night - or delivering groceries all morning?

What fate awaits those young players, pitching their traditional male fast balls?  They certainly won’t be able to keep up with the women in the office, who are hitting career home runs more consistently, and for longer too.  Female earning potential is at its most potent around 35 years old.  That’s much older than in the 1970s, this ONS study reveals, and there’s speculation that the shift may be down to more women staying in the workplace later in life, rather than the traditional early career switch to raising a family, trading home runs for school runs.  The family break has always resulted in a midlife divergence in earnings, but, in the last two decades, women have been earning later into life, and therefore keeping up with Britain’s men, well into their thirties.

No surprise there of course.  It’s what happens later that may take you by surprise.  For those men who may have thought they were over the hill, there’s good news.  The male earnings peak has been rising steadily since the 1970s too.  From late twenties back then, the peak, in the last year, reached 50 for the first time.

What does this do for the dynamics of the workplace?  Women at the top of their game, while the men are hardly out of the starting blocks, yet the tables are turned as the silver foxes rule the roost in their later years. 

With the likelihood of other responsibilities rising too, a rising tax bill is the last thing a fit and frisky fifty-year old needs.  Of course, you’re never too young to benefit from tax affairs advice, and never too old either.  So, whether you favour Radio One or Thought for the Day to get your morning started, our personal tax team are always in their prime.

There, that’s something to pique up your earnings, no matter what age you are.


About the Springfords blog

springfords blog

Some news, views and comments about everything and anything, relevant and irreverent.

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