New analysis finds that over 5 million people are earning less than Living Wage

No areas in northern England make the TUC's list of top ten places for fair pay


New analysis by the TUC reveals today that in some parts of the UK, less than half of jobs pay workers the Living Wage.

Nationally, one in five jobs pays under the Living Wage, but the TUC finds that some parliamentary constituencies are ‘Living Wage blackspots’ where much higher percentages of people are not taking home enough to cover the basic costs of living.

Birmingham Northfield is named as the worst place in the country for pay, with 53.4 per cent of people in work there earning less than £7.85 an hour, followed by Kingswood near Bristol (51 per cent) and Dwyfor Meirionnydd in north Wales (50.9 per cent).

The number is also disproportionately high in certain areas of London – for example in Harrow West 48.9 per cent of workers take home less than the Living Wage, and 48.3 per cent in Chingford and Woodford Green.

The figures are even worse for working women. 63.1 per cent of women in Birmingham Northfield and 59.6 per cent of women in Kingswood are paid under the Living Wage.  In East Yorkshire that’s 58.7 per cent of women compared to 42.4 per cent of the working population as a whole.

The TUC analysis also reveals high paying ‘bright spots’ where a low percentage of people are earning below the Living Wage, and these are mainly constituencies in the South East.

In Poplar and Limehouse in East London just 7.5 per cent of working people earn less than the living wage, followed by Edinburgh South West (7.9 per cent), Guildford (8.4 per cent), South Cambridgeshire (8.5 per cent) and Runnymede and Weybridge in Surrey (8.9 per cent). There are no constituencies in the North of England in the list of the top ten ‘bright spots’.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said:

“We need to see a far wider commitment to pay the living wage from government, employers and modern wages councils – to drive up productivity and set higher minimum rates in industries where employers can afford to pay their staff more.”

The findings come as the TUC enter the second half of Fair Pay Fortnight, a series of events aimed at raising awareness of low pay and pay inequality.

Ruby Stockham is a staff writer at Left Foot Forward. Follow her on Twitter

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