The official government figures from the 2002 New Earnings Survey
provide a breakdown of weekly earnings by age from 18 to 60 for full
time employees on adult rates.
The report is available in pdf format at
The analysis of results by age starts on page 10 of the pdf document,
and the graph is presented as Figure 7 on page 11. The graph shows
the gross weekly earnings in 2002, as well as the percentage increase
from 2001 for each age group.
The 40-49 age group had the highest average income of £510 per week,
while annual and hourly figures for this group were £26,799 and
£12.96, respectively. However, the largest increase in earnings from
2001 was seen in the 25-29 group, where earnings increased by 5.3% to
£415 per week. The 18-20 group had the lowest earnings, about £220
These figures exclude people in part-time work and very lower earners,
because information is only available on those who pay tax.
I did find some further limited data, but not in the form of graphs
and only for earlier years and only for Manchester, on the web site of
the government's Low Pay Unit at
"Greater Manchester Low Pay Unit's analysis of age-related rates in
Jobcentres found that... Average hourly rates for 16 year olds were
£3.13, for 17 year olds £3.17, for 18 year olds £3.52, for 19 year
olds £3.55 and for 20 year olds £3.58. (Greater Manchester Low Pay
A commentary by Unison on the 2002 salaries makes the point that:
"In spring 2002, the last date for which figures are available, 1.8
million workers in Britain were earning less than £4.50 an hour, 1.35
million of them women."
It also has information on the national minimum wage:
"The 7% increase to £4.50 an hour will take effect in October ,
with a further increase to £4.85 pencilled in for October 2004, the
economy permitting. This is compared to an average earnings growth of
3.7% a year. Young workers aged between 18 and 21 will see their
hourly minimum rate go up from £3.60 to £3.80 an hour in October and
to a provisional £4.10 in October 2004."