Average pay has fallen for millions of lower and middle-income jobs
13 August 2019
According to new TUC analysis, millions of employees in lower-paid and middle-income jobs have had real pay reductions over the last decade.
The Trades Union Congress (TUC) analysis looks at how occupational hourly pay has changed. It shows that, although the very lowest paid have benefited from minimum wage rises, millions of other workers in low and middle-income jobs have had real pay reductions since 2010.
Lowest earners (7.1 million people)
- Real pay for workers in jobs paying less than 75% of median pay (less than £9.55 an hour) has increased by 5% since the turn of the decade (2010-2018)
- But this increase is just half the rate of the prior period (2002-2010), when pay for this group rose at twice the rate (10%)
- The TUC says that the rise of 5% is largely due to the positive impact of raising the National Minimum Wage faster than inflation
Low-to-middle earners (7.7 million people)
- Real pay for workers in jobs paying between 75% and 100% of median pay (between £9.56 and £12.73 an hour) has fallen by 1% since 2010
- This reduction compares to a rise of 7% for this group between 2002 and 2010
- The TUC says that the negative impact of austerity on the economy, along with a lack of collective pay bargaining rights, are largely to blame for low-to-middle earners suffering this loss of living standards
Middle-to-high earners (11.5 million people)
- Real pay for workers in jobs paying between 100% and 200% of median pay (between £12.74 and £25.45 an hour) has fallen by 3% since 2010
- The TUC says that this shows that middle-class earners have shared the negative impacts of austerity on living standards alongside those in working-class jobs, and they have a common cause in needing stronger pay bargaining rights.
Highest earners (1.3 million people)
- Real pay for workers in jobs paying more than twice median pay (over £25.56 an hour) has increased by 4% since 2010.
- While the percentage rise is slightly behind the lowest earners, the cash increases are much higher than for any other workers.
The findings come from the ‘Pay in working-class jobs report’ which is the first in a series of TUC reports looking at the experience of today’s working classes. It shows that for most jobs, pay has been stagnant for almost a decade.
The report looks at the detail of:
- Pay in working-class jobs
- Working-class jobs today – and the types of occupations that are paid below the median
- Who’s doing working-class jobs and working-class diversity
- The new deal for working people we need