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Which age cohort has been the best paid? The @ONS investigates

by on July 7, 2014

The ONS released figures last week that compared the inflation-adjusted earnings of different age cohorts over time. A copy of the release can be downloaded from this ONS webpage.  They seem to have compared three age cohorts: those who were 21 in 1995, those who were 21 in 1985 and those aged 21 in 1975. These were examined over the period to 2013 (by when they were aged 39, 49 and 59 respectively).

What did they find?

  • People who started their career in the 1990s were paid on average 40% more in real terms in their first 18 years than those who started in the 1970s;
  • People who started work in 1985 earned 18% more than their 1975 counterparts;
  • Since 2009 all three cohorts have seen a fall in their real earnings.

And how has this been reported in the UK media?

Well, here’s a link to the Daily Mail which covered the release and included lots of colourful graphics to help convey the statistics. As ever, the reader comments are worth a look, with many debating the relative worth of the pound, the rise in spending on consumables and, for some, the trend towards a low pay economy.

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