The study also says there is no evidence of any adverse trend in public sector relative to private sector pay over the past 20 years. However, the report says that changes in the occupational composition of the public sector have produced a very different pattern of pay.
As a result the public-private sector pay diferential for women has halved from a 16% to a 8% advantage for those employed in the public sector, while the differential for men has all but disappeared.
The study says: 'Public sector workers do relatively better in recessions, and private sector workers do relatively better in booms. If there is now justified pressure for public sector 'catch-up' after the experience of a long period of Conservative administrations and the continued tight public expenditure controls of the incoming Labour government, it is not evident from the figures.'
Male workers in local government receive 4% more than their private sector counterparts. In the civil service men receive 10% more and women 25% more. The gap can be attributed to the higherlevel of unionistation in the public sector, according to the report.
Another finding of the study was that men with higher qualifications suffer 'significant penalties from working in the public sector'.