Gender wage gap in Netherlands slightly smaller, but still there

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Women in the Netherlands still earn less than their male counterparts, but the wage gap is slowly decreasing, Statistics Netherlands reported on Thursday. 

According to the stats office, the wage gap can partly be attributed to background characteristics like age, education and experience, but not completely. Statistics Netherlands was hesitant to say whether the rest of the gap is due to gender based discrimination. 

This inexplicable difference in the salaries of men and women decreased from 7 percent in 2008 to 5 percent in 2016 in government work, and in the business world from 9 percent to 7 percent.

When looking at the uncorrected wage gap - without taking background characteristics into account - men working for the government earned 8 percent more than women in 2016. In the business world women earned 19 percent less than men. The business world accounts for 87 percent of the jobs in the Netherlands. 

Young women tend to earn more than their male counterparts because they are more highly educated, according to the stats office. Young women working for the government on average earn more than their male counterparts until they are 36 years old. In 2008 that turning point was at the age of 33. In the business world young women earned more than young men until they were 26 in 2016. From the age of 32 the wage gap becomes "significant", the stats office said. 

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