More than third of South Tyneside workers paid less than living wage

South Tyneside has one of the highest proportions of low earners in England with more than a third of workers paid less than the Real Living Wage.

Friday, 7th June 2019, 9:42 am
Updated Friday, 7th June 2019, 10:54 am
Latest figures reveal more than a third of South Tyneside workers are paid less than the Real Living Wage.

Charities and trade unions have warned of a “rising tide of in-work poverty” across the country, with millions of workers struggling to make ends meet.The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics reveal 34.7% of jobs in South Tyneside earn less than the real living wage – about 10,000 workers in total.They are among a pool of more than six million others across Great Britain “struggling to make ends meet” because their wages are less than they need to cover the basics, according to Frances O’Grady of the Trades Union Congress.The Real Living Wage, which was £8.75 per hour when the data was compiled but has since been revised to £9, is set by the Living Wage Foundation.It is higher than the living wage introduced by the Government in 2016, which is the legal minimum employers can pay workers aged 25 and over, and instead calculates the minimum amount a person needs to earn to meet their everyday living costs.The Living Wage Foundation argues that businesses paying the living wage benefit from more productive and motivated workers.“If we want to build a modern, dynamic economy, we need to see more businesses step up and join the over 5,000 Living Wage employers committed to pay a fair day’s pay for a hard day’s work,” said director Katherine Chapman.The figures reveal stark variations across the country, with the proportion of workers earning below the living wage ranging from a low of 6.3% in the City of London, to a high of 48.7% in Redbridge, in East London.Regionally, the East Midlands has the highest proportion of low earners (26.9%) while the South East has the lowest (18.8%).Across the North East, 25.3% of jobs pay below the Real Living Wage.Helen Barnard, deputy director of policy at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, said it was vital to invest in places with low employment and low pay.She said: “It is totally unacceptable that at a time of record employment we are seeing a rising tide of in-work poverty across the country.”

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