From the TUC

Britain’s Living Wage Blackspots

23 Feb 2015, by in Economics

One in five jobs pay less than the living wage. But you won’t find them evenly distributed across the UK. In some constituencies, over half of full-time workers get less than living wages. We’ve mapped almost every constituency in England, Wales, and Scotland below: 


Source: House of Commons Library analysis of ONS figures. More info.

Remember – living wages aren’t just an abstract economic statistic, it’s considered the lowest pay which can cover the very basics, and little else. Anything below that means no savings, a tightly limited social life, and constant fears about making ends meet – all while working full time. At the moment, it works out at a modest £7.85 an hour outside of London, and £9.15 in London. The living wage isn’t an optimal wage, but more of a bare minimum for a basic standard of living.

Frances O’Grady, the General Secretary of the TUC, said that :

“The number of living wage employers is growing rapidly and unions are playing their part in encouraging more employers to sign up and pay it. But 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.”

It’s certainly great to see the number of living wage employers increase. But it’s going to take more than that to ensure that everyone who works in the UK has a decent standard of living. That’s why we’re organising Fair Pay Fortnight, to fight for higher, fairer wages for workers. The evidence continues to mount: Britain needs a pay rise.

5 Responses to Britain’s Living Wage Blackspots

  1. ron
    Feb 23rd 2015, 12:01 pm

    are the unions still supporting workfare?

  2. John Wood

    John Wood
    Feb 23rd 2015, 12:43 pm

    Hi Ron. The TUC and our affiliated unions don’t support workfare. We think it’s a failed idea all round. It’s unfair to people are made to work for much less than the minimum wage. It’s also unfair to other workers as it threatens jobs and pay rates and it’s unfair to better businesses if competitors are subsidised with free labour. And it simply doesn’t work – putting people on a workfare scheme means they don’t have time to get genuine training or look for a real job.

    There’s more info on it here if you’re interested http://www.tuc.org.uk/economic-issues/labour-market/say-no-workfare-tuc-charter-work-experience

  3. Mark Mizzen
    Feb 24th 2015, 6:47 am

    Hi Ron, That is useful information. Two points for your consideration (1) In Leicester thousands are being hit by £3 an hour `wages` or less (Ref: ETI., Uni of Lei.,L.Mercury 19.2.15). Unless the supply chain is included in the LW drive `growth` that you refer to may just transfer poverty wages to others, (2) Pres.Roosevelt presiding over the largest transfer of wealth in USA economic history understood that without a maximum income `growth` benefits would transfer to the super rich.

  4. Liz Brennan
    Feb 24th 2015, 7:50 pm

    Is there a key to the colour coding?

  5. Michael Pidgeon

    Michael Pidgeon
    Feb 25th 2015, 10:23 am

    Hi Liz,

    There’s a key on the top right of the map. It’s an automatic gradient, from Green – Yellow – Orange – Light Red – Red. It starts at 6% and ends at 53.4%.

    If you can’t see the key above, here’s a screengrab of one: http://i.imgur.com/3VchSUW.png