Real pay cut for millions of lower and middle-income earners says TUC

TUC analysis, based on the Office of National Statistics ASHE data, at how occupational hourly pay has changed, shows that the lowest paid have benefited from minimum wage rises yet millions of lower-paid and middle-income jobs have had real pay reductions.

7.1 million jobs account for the Lowest earners

Real pay for workers in jobs paying less than £9.55 an hour has increased by 5% largely due to the impact of raising the National Minimum Wage faster than inflation

7.7 million people are Low-to-middle earners

The TUC claims that the negative impact of austerity on the economy, along with a lack of collective pay bargaining rights, are to blame for low-to-middle earners suffering a loss of living standards.

11.5 million people are Middle-to-high earners

Real pay for these workers in jobs have fallen by 3% since 2010. 

1.3 million people are the Highest earners

Real pay for these workers have increased by 4% since 2010.

Working-class life in Britain today

The findings show that women, and black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) workers are more likely to be in lower-paid work.

The proportion of female workers is 49% yet they account for 64% of the lowest earners.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:

“Every job should pay a fair wage that keeps up with the cost of living. But many people in working-class jobs have had their real pay cut, while the best paid got rises.

“It’s not right that people who have slogged away for a decade to rescue Britain from the banking crisis are still paying the price. Working-class values like hard work should be rewarded with decent pay and security.

“The government should concentrate on rebuilding good working-class jobs with decent pay. We need a new deal at work with stronger rights, starting by giving everyone the right to be represented by a union so they can bargain for better pay.”

TUC pay analysis

UK real wage growth banded by occupational hourly pay from 2002-2010 and 2010-2018 

TUC analysis of ONS ASHE data from the annual survey of hours and earnings from 2002 to 2018. The analysis looks at median hourly pay by occupation. Average pay is based on the median hourly wage for all jobs. Pay has been adjusted by CPI and is in 2018 prices.

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