14 September 2023

The Low Pay Commission (LPC) has updated its list of low-paying sectors. The page contains tables with full details of the new occupation and industry groups.

The LPC analyse the low-paid labour market to monitor the impact of the National Minimum Wage (NMW). Identifying the businesses and workers who are most affected by the minimum wage.

To help identify these workers and businesses, the LPC use two definitions: low-paying occupations relate to job roles that are often low-paid – for example, ‘sales assistants’; low-paying industries are based on the main activity of the employer – for example, ‘retail trade’.

The definitions were last updated in 2017, shortly after the introduction of the National Living Wage (NLW). A lot has changed since then: the level of the minimum wage has increased rapidly, potentially changing the types of workers and businesses affected by it. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has also updated how it classifies occupations, moving to a new set of standard occupational codes (SOC 2020) in the datasets LPC use. This move was completed for the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) – LPC’s main data source for hourly pay (in autumn 2022).

The LPC expresses that to make sure its work keeps up with these changes – and remains relevant once the NLW meets its target in 2024 – LPC have reviewed and updated its definitions of low-paying occupations and industries. The page publishes tables with full details of the new occupation and industry groups. It also contains data tables related to a blog recently published explaining these changes.

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