Published: 10 May 2017

Occupational Wage Stratification in Contemporary Britain

Recent publication by Dr Mark Williams of the Department of People and Organisations at Surrey Business School 

Williams, M. (2017). ‘Occupational Wage Stratification in Contemporary Britain: Occupational Class in the Wake of the Great Recession’, Sociology, forthcoming.


Occupations traditionally played a central role in stratification accounts. In the wake of the Great Recession, debates regarding the extent and nature of occupational stratification have been reinvigorated. An exploration of occupational wage stratification patterns defined by both detailed occupational unit groups and the broader occupational class categories of the National Statistics Socio-Economic Classification (NS-SEC) reveals the proportion of wage inequality between occupations and occupational classes has remained broadly stable 1997 to 2015. No compelling evidence is found for growing wage inequalities between detailed occupations within NS-SEC categories. This article underlines the continued utility of occupations and particularly the NS-SEC grouping of them in describing the structure of stratification in contemporary Britain.

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