The male workforce has been “hollowed out,” with more men earning considerably less and considerably more than the national average wage, according to research from think tank the Resolution Foundation.
The study, Counting the Hours, found that less men were earning something close to the average wage. The share of men earning less than £175 a week (a third of the typical male weekly wage) has increased by 70% over the last 20 years, while the share of higher-paid men earning more than £1,060 (double the typical weekly wage) has increased by 15%.
Stephen Clarke, an analyst from the Resolution Foundation, said: "When people talk about the labour market 'hollowing out' they're normally referring to mid-skilled jobs moving to other parts of the world, or disappearing altogether as a result of automation.
"But Britain's real hollowing out problem has much more to do with the hours people are working than the rates of pay different jobs bring.”
The researchers suggest that the change was partly caused by the rising number of male part-time employees, which has increased by more than 50% since 1997. The average number of hours worked by low-paid men was found to have fallen from 44.3 in 1997 to 42.2 in 2016.
"The increase in earnings inequality among men is about the increasing number of low-paid men who are either reducing their hours or moving into part-time work, in some cases against their wishes," said Clarke. "For the sake of both sexes we should be concerned about the numbers who find themselves there when they desperately need a full-time job.”