Average pay in Scotland is now higher than England for the first time

 
Lynsey Barber
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Scotland Prepares For Independence Vote
Scotland's hourly pay rate has overtaken England (Source: Getty)

Average pay in Scotland has overtaken that of England for the first time, a new think tank report has found.

Average hourly pay north of the border has risen at a faster rate over the past two decades, closing the gap between pay in the two locations.

That means average pay now stands at £11.92 per hour in Scotland, versus £11.84 in England.

The analysis by the Resolution Foundation think tank found steady growth, high employment and improved productivity drove pay performance in pre-crisis Scotland, while after 2009 the squeeze on pay was shallower in Scotland than elsewhere.

In 2004 average pay in England was 7.2 per cent higher than in Scotland. That shrank to 2.9 per cent by 2009.

“As recently as a decade ago, typical workers in England earned significantly more than their counterparts in Scotland. But years of stronger pay growth in Scotland means that the English pay premium has now become Scottish pay premium for the first time ever," said Resolution Foundation policy analyst Conor D'Arcy.

“Scotland’s impressive pay performance has been underpinned by high employment and steady economic growth, particularly in the run up to the crash. But its recent employment and growth record has been less impressive," he added.

However, one in five employees in Scotland are still on low pay the think tank warned ahead of Scottish elections in May.

"With the higher minimum wage for the over 25s expected to reduce rather than eliminate low pay, tackling this longstanding problem should be a top priority for parties in the run-up to May’s election,” said D'Arcy.

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