Updates from the Living Wage Foundation

Trust for London research shows number of low paid jobs in London increases for fourth year running


New analysis from the New Policy Institute - funded by independent charity Trust for London - gives the latest data on low pay in the capital. The figures are available on the London's Poverty Profile website - which provides data on over 60 poverty indicators.

The research looks at the number of people and the number of jobs paid below the London Living Wage (LLW). It shows that in 2013, around 18% of all jobs in London were low paid, up from 17% in 2012 and 12% in 2009. Meaning that over 1 in 5 (around 21%) of employees living in London were low paid in 2013 up from 20% in 2012.

The analysis finds that:

  • Almost one in five (18% of) jobs in London are now low paid
  • The number of low paid jobs in London increased 45,000 last year

In 2013, there were just over 640,000 low paid jobs in London - this represents an increase of 45,000 or 7.5% on 2012. This increase reflects a trend across England - the cost of living is growing faster than earnings, so as prices increase, more jobs fall below the low pay threshold.

27% of all low paid jobs are in the retail and wholesale sector and 22% of all low paid jobs are in hotels and restaurants - together accounting for almost half of all low paid jobs in London (49%) - up from 45% in 2010.

Most of the increase in the number of low paid jobs since 2009 was among men in full-time work (up 77,000) and women in part-time work up by (67,000).

The risk of low pay varies considerably by hours. In 2013, 43% of part-time jobs were low paid compared to 11% of full-time jobs.

There is also a clear gender dimension when it comes to low paid work. As most part-time jobs are done by women, the number of women in low paid jobs is higher than the number of men. A third of low paid jobs in 2013 were done by women working part-time (214,000).

Commenting, Mubin Haq from Trust for London, said:

"There is lots of talk of an economic recovery and of course that is welcome news. But we need to look at more than GDP and employment figures. The true measure of a recovery should be what it means for those nearest the bottom.

With a 7.5% increase in the number of jobs that are low paid, these new figures suggest that for many poorer Londoners, working hard is not lifting them out of poverty.

This can and must change. Employers can do a number of things to help, such as redesigning jobs so workers have more responsibility, enabling greater productivity and allowing for increases in pay. Moreover, many employers can afford to pay at least a Living Wage of £8.80 an hour - by doing so they can reap the associated business benefits such as increased loyalty and lower staff leaving rates."

14th August 2014, 10:31
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