Issue date
01 Apr 2014

date: 28 March 2014

embargo: 00.01hrs Tuesday 1 April 2014

In parts of Yorkshire and the Humber two in five jobs pay less than living wage

In some parts of Yorkshire and the Humber two in five jobs (37 per cent) are paying less than the living wage, the TUC reveals today (Tuesday) to coincide with the 15th anniversary of the introduction of the minimum wage and the second week of the TUC’s Fair Pay Fortnight which runs until Sunday (6 April).

TUC analysis of official figures from the House of Commons Library shows that nationally on average one in five jobs pays under the living wage – currently set at £8.80 in London and £7.65 across the rest of the UK – but in some parliamentary constituencies many more people working there earn less than this.

Across the UK, around five million people get paid less than the living wage. East Yorkshire tops the list of living wage black spots in Yorkshire and the Humber, with 37.8 per cent of the jobs based there paying less than the living wage. This is followed by Barnsley East (34 per cent), Kingston upon Hull North (32.7 per cent), Skipton and Ripon (30.4 per cent) and Richmond (29.5 per cent).

For working women the picture is even more bleak. Around half of women working in two constituencies – East Yorkshire (48.6 per cent) and Cleethorpes (48.4 per cent) – take home less than the living wage. And in Kingston upon Hull East (44.2 per cent), Kingston upon Hull North (43.7 per cent) and Barnsley East (43.5 per cent) women don’t fare much better.

At the other end of the income scale, in some parts of Yorkshire and the Humber workers fare much better. Just 12.9 per cent of jobs in Sheffield, Brightside and Hillsborough pay less than the living wage, followed by Leeds Central (13.3 per cent), Penistone and Stocksbridge (15.9 per cent), Sheffield Central (16.7 per cent) and Barnsley Central (17 per cent).

Yorkshire and the Humber TUC Policy and Campaigns Officer Neil Foster said: “Extending the living wage is a vital way of tackling the growing problem of in-work poverty across Yorkshire and the Humber – and Britain as a whole.

“Working families are experiencing the biggest pressure on their living standards since Victorian times. Pay has been squeezed at all levels below the boardroom and it’s costing our economy dear.

“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 government must show equal initiative. We need to see a far greater commitment to pay the living wage from government and employers, and modern wages councils which could set higher minimum rates in industries where employers can afford to pay their staff more.

“During Fair Pay Fortnight we’re asking workers to back our call to MPs to get all political parties to put decent pay at the top of their agendas in the run up to the election.”

NOTES TO EDITORS:

Top five Yorkshire and the Humber living wage blackspots (men and women)

Parliamentary constituency

Percentage of people working there paid less than the living wage

1

East Yorkshire

37.8

2

Barnsley East

34.0

3

Kingston upon Hull North

32.7

4

Skipton and Ripon

30.4

5

Richmond

29.5

Top five Yorkshire and the Humber living wage brightspots (men and women)

Parliamentary constituency

Percentage of people working there paid less than the living wage

1

Sheffield, Brightside and Hillsborough

12.9

2

Leeds Central

13.3

3

Penistone and Stockbridge

15.9

4

Sheffield Central

16.7

5

Barnsley Central

17.0

Top five Yorkshire and the Humber living wage blackspots (women)

Parliamentary constituency

Percentage of women working there paid less than the living wage

1

East Yorkshire

48.6

2

Cleethorpes

48.4

3

Kingston upon Hull East

44.2

4

Kingston upon Hull North

43.7

5

Barnsley East

43.5

Top five Yorkshire and the Humber living wage brightspots (women)

Parliamentary constituency

Percentage of women working there paid less than the living wage

1

Leeds Central

16.1

2

Sheffield Central

17.9

3

Bradford West

20.2

4

York Central

21.4

5

Leeds East

22.5

House of Commons Library figures, based on data from the Office for National Statistics

- The full analysis of who is paid under the living wage by constituency and local authority is available at www.tuc.org.uk/sites/default/files/House%20of%20Commons%20LW%20data.xlsx

- The TUC is organising Fair Pay Fortnight from Monday 24 March to Sunday 6 April. It will be a series of events across England and Wales to raise awareness about falling living standards. www.fairpayfortnight.org

- All TUC press releases can be found at www.tuc.org.uk

- Follow the TUC on Twitter: @tucnews

Contacts:

Media enquiries:
Neil Foster   T: 0191 227 5554    M: 07786 717972    E: nfoster@tuc.org.uk