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• New figures reveal as many as one third of employees in some parts of the North West are paid below the real living wage
• They call for employers, and the next government, to do more to tackle the problem of low pay

Over a fifth of North West employees are paid below the real living wage rate, new figures shared by the Trades Union Congress (TUC) reveal today.

The real living wage rate, set by the Living Wage Foundation, was increased to £9.30 per hour this week, as new employers in the region announced their accreditation to the scheme.

However, figures from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) estimate that 629,000 jobs, representing 21.1% of jobs, pay below the living wage rate, higher than the UK average of 20.1%. But as many as one third of employees in some constituencies in the North West are paid below the rate. This comes after the TUC revealed recently that a decade of low pay was driving a sharp rise in household debt, to pre-2008 levels.

Constituencies with the highest proportion of employees paid below the living wage include:

  •  Southport, 44% of employees
  • Blackpool South, 37% of employees
  • Morecambe and Lunesdale, 35% of employees
  • Bury South, 34% of employees
  • Stalybridge and Hyde, 33% of employees

Ahead of an election, the TUC is calling for urgent action.

TUC North West regional secretary, Jay McKenna, said: “It’s great that we’ve seen more employers become voluntarily accredited to pay staff a wage that they can live on. They’re doing the right thing by their workers and paying their share. But these numbers show that for too many, low pay is a problem that isn’t going away.

“The impact on working families is clear for all to see. We’ve seen the growth in food bank use, from people in work also, and we have workers across the country taking strike action just to squeeze an extra couple of pounds from their employer so they have a wage they can live on.

“Working families everywhere deserve better than having to scrape by, loading the everyday essentials onto a credit card or cutting back. For too long, wages have been held back by this government. We need a £10 an hour minimum wage as soon as possible. We need unions to be able to access workplaces to collectively bargain for members, because we all know that joining a union is the best way to secure better pay.”

 

Editors note

Numbers are based on ASHE estimates on jobs.

 

Jobs (thousands)

Percentage (%)

UK

5,568

20.1

North West

629

21.1

Altrincham and Sale West

9

21.5

Ashton-under-Lyne

8

26.6

Birkenhead

6

27.4

Blackburn

10

20.0

Blackley and Broughton

9

18.7

Blackpool North and Cleveleys

8

25.5

Blackpool South

11

37.0

Bolton North East

7

28.0

Bolton South East

8

21.7

Bolton West

7

23.4

Bootle

11

21.1

Burnley

9

27.0

Bury North

7

20.7

Bury South

7

34.3

Cheadle

7

15.2

Chorley

9

27.9

City of Chester

13

19.1

Congleton

5

19.7

Crewe and Nantwich

10

20.5

Denton and Reddish

6

26.1

Eddisbury

8

18.7

Ellesmere Port and Neston

6

20.6

Fylde

7

20.1

Garston and Halewood

8

20.6

Halton

8

24.3

Hazel Grove

5

30.7

Heywood and Middleton

8

27.1

Hyndburn

10

28.9

Knowsley

9

21.1

Lancaster and Fleetwood

8

21.6

Leigh

9

31.9

Liverpool, Riverside

19

14.3

Liverpool, Walton

6

18.7

Liverpool, Wavertree

5

20.6

Liverpool, West Derby

x

x

Macclesfield

8

19.3

Makerfield

6

27.7

Manchester Central

25

10.9

Manchester, Gorton

x

20.3

Manchester, Withington

4

17.8

Morecambe and Lunesdale

8

35.3

Oldham East and Saddleworth

10

32.5

Oldham West and Royton

7

17.7

Pendle

7

25.6

Preston

12

22.6

Ribble Valley

9

19.3

Rochdale

8

21.9

Rossendale and Darwen

7

28.8

Salford and Eccles

12

13.5

Sefton Central

5

32.9

South Ribble

7

23.8

Southport

9

44.2

St Helens North

5

22.8

St Helens South and Whiston

13

26.0

Stalybridge and Hyde

5

32.9

Stockport

10

19.7

Stretford and Urmston

15

23.7

Tatton

10

17.6

Wallasey

4

18.2

Warrington North

19

24.0

Warrington South

12

19.2

Weaver Vale

7

15.1

West Lancashire

8

21.3

Wigan

11

25.4

Wirral South

6

22.6

Wirral West

x

21.1

Worsley and Eccles South

6

30.0

Wyre and Preston North

8

18.3

Wythenshawe and Sale East

11

15.5

 

 

 

Contacts:

Jay McKenna
jmckenna@tuc.org.uk
0151 482 2710

07788 414 578

 

TUC press office
media@tuc.org.uk
020 7467 1248