Low pay: the defining challenge of our age?

New figures from the ONS show that a quarter of workers earned less than £12,800 a year in 2012. James Plunkett of the Resolution Foundation has written an interesting piece for the Huffington Post, in which he argues that low pay is "fast becoming one of the defining economic challenges of our age".

New figures from the ONS show that a quarter of workers earned less than £12,800 a year in 2012.

James Plunkett of the Resolution Foundation has written an interesting piece on the subject for the Huffington Post, in which he argues that low pay is “fast becoming one of the defining economic challenges of our age”:

“The findings reinforce last week’s jobs market numbers which yet again told a story of fast employment growth and a tightening wage squeeze. Far from being a blip, this ‘jobs boom, pay slump‘ economy seems to be here to stay. IFS analysis of the so-called ‘productivity puzzle’ suggests a collapse in wages, rather than a squeeze in working hours, lies behind the mismatch of weak growth and strong job numbers. Meanwhile, Resolution Foundation research shows that something fundamental changed in our jobs market as far back as the early 2000s: unemployment has always had a chilling effect on pay but now the effect has grown. Britain’s workforce has to struggle harder than it used to for a pay rise.”

Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.