KPMG analysis reveals that East Midlands has the highest proportion of jobs paying below the Living Wage, at 26%. while over a fifth (22%) of UK jobs currently pay below the real Living Wage* – an increase of 1.2 million jobs since 2012.
Undoing the progress made last year, over a fifth (22%) of UK jobs currently pay below the real Living Wage*, which represents an increase of 1.2 million jobs since 2012, KPMG analysis reveals.
Last year’s report saw the number of jobs paying below the Living Wage slightly down on the preceding year, hinting at some progress. However, the latest analysis conducted by IHS Markit for KPMG finds that the proportion of jobs paying less than the Living Wage now stands at 22% (up from 21% in 2017).
A closer look at the findings reveals that part-time workers are more than three times as likely to be paid below the Living Wage, with 43% below the threshold compared to only 13% of full-time workers.
The analysis also reveals that nearly seven in ten workers aged between 18 and 21 earned below the threshold, compared to the lowest proportion of only 15% among those aged 40 – 49. The prevalence of in-work poverty increased again once approaching retirement age, with a quarter (25%) of those 60+ facing in-work poverty.
At the same time, there continues to be regional disparity across the UK, with Northern Ireland and the East Midlands having the highest proportion of jobs paying below the Living Wage, at 26% in each. By contrast, the South East has the lowest proportion, at only 18%. The real Living Wage rate nationally currently stands at £8.75, whilst in London it is £10.20.
Looking to gender equality, the proportion of female employees earning less than the real Living Wage (27%) continues to exceed that for males (17%). This means that nearly 60% more women were paid below the real Living Wage, compared to men. Furthermore, in every age category, the proportion of females earning less than the threshold exceeded the percentage of males, with the greatest gap noted among those 50 – 59 years of age.
Commenting on the findings, Jenny Baskerville, director of social equality at KPMG UK, said: “The latest real Living Wage analysis makes for very dire reading on all counts. While some progress was made last year, it’s clear that it has retreated and left more facing in-work poverty as a result, especially if you’re a part-time worker, under the age of 21 or over 60, female, living outside the South East, or any combination of these. In fact, the number of jobs paying below the real Living Wage has actually increased by 1.2million since 2012, hammering home the magnitude of this problem.
“It’s critical that we reward and value those making a contribution to our society and economy, and clearly such a sizeable challenge requires a collective approach. For businesses though, it’s vital to look beyond the bottom line, and instead focus on non-monetary aspects that the real Living Wage can bring, like improved staff morale, rising service standards or increased productivity.”
Historical overview of UK voluntary Living Wage estimates (all employee jobs)
|Number earning below voluntary Living Wage (millions)*||Percentage of jobs below voluntary Living Wage*||Real UK Living Wage (£)||Real London Living Wage (£)|
* IHS Markit estimates, rounded. Estimates for number of jobs derived from ASHE 2018.
Regional overview of proportion of employees earning less than the real Living Wage in 2018:
|Region||Proportion of those earning below the voluntary Living Wage (%)|
|Yorkshire & Humber||24|
Gender analysis, the proportion of employees earning less than the real Living Wage in 2018:
|Gender||Proportion of those earning below the voluntary Living Wage (%)|
Age overview of proportion of employees earning less than the real Living Wage in 2018:
|Age Range||Proportion of those earning below the voluntary Living Wage (%)|
|18 – 21||68|
|22 – 29||25|
|30 – 39||16|
|40 – 49||15|
|50 – 59||17|