Long-term shift towards low-paid work threatens stability of UK economy, says report

9 September 2014

The future strength and stability of the UK economy is “under threat” as there has been a long-term shift towards insecure, low-paying employment in many cities across the country, according to thinktank the Centre for Cities.

recent report, supported by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, revealed the number of Britons employed in low-pay positions in UK cities jumped by more than 750,000 between 2001 and 2011.

The study also found more than 20% of all employees are now working for low pay, warning cities in the north of England are particularly at risk. In Sunderland and Hull, more than a third of all employment is now low paid, and in Blackburn, Grimsby and Hull, one in three workers earn less than two-thirds of the median national wage.

The study also found Coventry, Luton and Stoke saw the largest increases in the share of low-paid jobs between 2001 and 2011, coupled with the largest decline in the share of intermediate jobs.

In contrast, in London and the south east, the growth of internationally competitive knowledge-intensive industries means it is forecast that in ten years, 60% of all jobs in London will be in high-paid employment.