Up to a fifth of Londoners earn less than living wage

Between 16 and 20 per cent of London’s workforce earn less than the ‘living wage’ for the capital, a study for the Greater London Authority has found.

The report examines patterns of low pay in London, taking the living wage (currently calculated as £8.30 per hour) as the threshold for defining low pay.

Key points

  • The people most likely to be low paid are those with low-level qualifications, ethnic minorities, young people, those aged over 50, women and part-time workers.
  • Even though inner London boroughs tend to show higher levels of deprivation and worklessness, outer London has a higher proportion of low-paid workers (28 per cent).
  • Wage inequality in the capital has increased significantly since the late 1990s, whereas it has decreased slightly in the UK as a whole. This reflects, above all, an increase in wage dispersion in London among men.

Low pay is not inevitable, the report concludes. It can be tackled in two ways: by encouraging more organisations to adopt the London living wage; and through training and skills development to help those in low-paid jobs progress up the labour market.

Source: Joanna Smith, Patterns of Low Pay, Greater London Authority
Link: Report