Almost a quarter of North West workers paid below Living Wage

New analysis from accountancy firm KPMG also reveals women and part-time workers are much more likely to be poorly paid. Tony McDonough reports

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Women and part-time workers are among the lowest-paid workers


More than 650,000 workers in the North West – 23% of the workforce – are earning less than the Living Wage of £8.75 per hour, a new study reveals.

This is slightly above the national figure of 22% and the analysis from accountancy form KPMG also finds that part-time workers are three times more likely to be paid below the Living Wage.

The picture for younger workers is even worse, the report reveals, with 68% of workers aged 18 to 21 earning under the threshold and it is also becoming increasingly prevalent among people aged 60-plus.

The national figures show that there has been an increase of more than 1.2m jobs across the UK falling below the threshold since 2012. Last year’s report saw the number of jobs paying below the Living Wage slightly down on the preceding year, hinting at some progress.

However, the latest analysis conducted by IHS Markit for KPMG finds that the proportion of jobs paying less than the Living Wage has started to rise.

Looking to gender equality, the proportion of female employees earning less than the real Living Wage (27%) continues to exceed that for males (17%). This means that nearly 60% more women were paid below the real Living Wage, compared to men.

Euan West, office senior partner at KPMG in Liverpool, said: “The latest analysis makes for very dire reading on all counts, not least in the North West where we have nearly a quarter of the working population earning less than the real Living Wage.

“While some progress was made last year across the country, it’s clear that the trend has stalled or retreated and left more facing in-work poverty as a result, especially if you’re a part-time worker, under the age of 21 or over 60, female, living outside the South East.”

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