You are here: Home - Household Bills - News -

Record numbers in work but pay lower than a decade ago

Written by: Paloma Kubiak
Record numbers of people in the UK are in employment but real wages are still lower than 10 years ago, research from a leading think tank shows. 

There was a 2.1 million increase in the number of people working between 2008-09 and 2016-17, with the biggest contribution coming from lower income households, according to The Resolution Foundation.

But real average earnings are still £13 a week lower than they were a decade ago.

The think tank said employment has boosted living standards since the financial crisis, but “widespread insecurity has been a big setback with around 800,000 workers currently on zero- hours contracts.”

The research highlighted employment gaps, particularly for disadvantaged groups such as ethnic minorities, those with low-level qualifications, women, mothers and those with disabilities.

It said that the UK is still a long way from full employment, suggesting that the employment rate for ethnic minorities would need to rise by eight percentage points, nine percentage points for those with low qualifications and 10 percentage points for people with disabilities.

Policy action such as childcare support and working tax credits help to boost employment among single parents, but more is needed to help those with disabilities or ill-health, the Foundation said.

Stephen Clarke, senior economic analyst at the Resolution Foundation, said: “Britain has experienced a huge living standards slump but its incredible employment record has provided a much-needed bright spark amidst the gloom of the pay squeeze.

“But while employment is at a record high, Britain is still some way off full employment and too much work remains low paid and insecure. With fewer than half of people with a disability or ill-health currently in work, targeted support for these groups holds the key to achieving further employment progress.

“Steps to provide advance notice of shifts and a right to a regular contract for those working regular hours on a zero-hour contract would also help those in work who have precious little job security.”

There are 0 Comment(s)

If you wish to comment without signing in, click your cursor in the top box and tick the 'Sign in as a guest' box at the bottom.

Autumn Statement: Everything you need to know at a glance

Yesterday Chancellor Jeremy Hunt made his first fiscal statement in the role, outlining a range of tax measure...

End of Help to Buy: 10 alternatives for first-time buyers

The deadline for Help to Buy Equity Loan applications passed on 31 October. If you’re a first-time buyer who...

Moving to an energy prepayment meter: Everything you need to know

As households struggle with the soaring cost of energy, tens of thousands of billpayers are expected to move o...

What will happen if rates change

How your finances will be impacted by a rise in interest rates.

Regular Savings Calculator

Small regular contributions can build up nicely over time.

Online Savings Calculator

Work out how your online savings can build over time.

DIY investors: 10 common mistakes to avoid

For those without the help and experience of an adviser, here are 10 common DIY investor mistakes to avoid.

Mortgage down-valuations: Tips to avoid pulling out of a house sale

Down-valuations are on the rise. So, what does it mean for home buyers, and what can you do?

Five tips for surviving a bear market mauling

The S&P 500 has slipped into bear market territory and for UK investors, the FTSE 250 is also on the edge. Her...

Money Tips of the Week