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TEENAGE girls with full-time jobs have seen their wages fall 33 times faster than their male peers as job security decreases, new statistics revealed yesterday.
The average salary for 16 to 17-year-old girls was £9,750 in 2006. This plunged to £7,176 in 2013 — a difference of £2,574 (26 per cent).
Wages for boys of the same age meanwhile dipped slightly from £8,639 to £8,561 — a drop of £78 (one per cent) in eight years — according to Office for National Statistics figures.
Sam Smethers, chief executive of gender equality campaign the Fawcett Society, described the income disparity as a “worrying trend.”
A contributing factor is that young women have borne the brunt of the economic downturn after the bankers’ crash in 2008, as they work unstable and poorly paid jobs.
Ms Smethers added: “Women have been suffering more than men because they had even less job security. They were more at risk and thus worse hit when the recession struck.”
This is because they are often “steered” into traditional sectors such as care, beauty therapy and hospitality, which are often low-paid and unstable.
More work needs to be done to inform female school-leavers of all their options and to encourage them to take up apprenticeships in higher-paying industries, she suggested.
The tables turn once young adults reach their 20s. The same research found that women typically earned £1,111 more than men.
But, the situation flips again in their 30s when men tend to land most senior well-paid positions — suggesting that there is a “drop-off point” in women’s careers after which they have to play catch up.
Ms Smethers proposed that more senior roles should be part-time or as a job share so that mothers and those who care for sick relatives are offered a fairer chance.
“Too many employers are stuck in a time warp when it comes to promoting women and paying them the going rate,” TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said.
Despite the Equal Pay Act being introduced 40 years ago female managers earn around 22 per cent less than their male counterparts, she pointed out.
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