Now maybe it’s because I’m a bloke, but looking at this graph I couldn’t help but think: wouldn’t it be better to close the pay gap for women by increasing their wages rather than decreasing men’s?
Women’s wages have actually gone up slightly since 1990 (no thanks to National, there’s quite a significant net fall under them), but not by as much as men’s have fallen.
Productivity has increased massively in that time, so there can be none of this “wages can only increase with productivity” argument. Labour doesn’t look fabulous on men’s wages, but at least they arrested the decline under National, and had a healthy improvement in women’s wages.
Looking at the Herald‘s infographic, certain categories of work (including “recreation”, which I’m guessing all those Tourism jobs the government’s excited about come under) have women’s wages falling – and men’s far worse. And brace yourself before you look at retail or accommodation & food services – they’re just scary. Certain categories like Professional & Scientific and ICT that you’d expect wages to be rising have fallen significantly, and while in Health & Social service men’s wages have actually risen – women’s have dropped, increasing the yawning chasm. The only category where workers have had a massive increase in wages? Financial & Insurance.
Anyway, it all seems like more evidence we need a change in our system, as wages fall and return to the capitalists increases. More trade union power, not less, as we need someone to fight for worker’s wages & conditions.
Thanks to the Herald for their excellent coverage of the pay gap yesterday…