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People on low pay in the East struggling to find better work, report shows

PUBLISHED: 00:00 19 October 2017

Chloe Smith. Pic: Eliza Boo Photography

Chloe Smith. Pic: Eliza Boo Photography

Eliza Boo Photography

Only 18pc of low-paid workers in the East of England managed to move on to better jobs in the last decade, new figures have revealed.

Only 18% of low-paid workers in the East of England managed to move on to better jobs in the last decade, new figures have revealed.

The research, conducted by the Resolution Foundation on behalf of the Social Mobility Commission, tracked wages from 2006 to 2016 and categorised people into three groups: stuck, cycler and escapers.

Those who are stuck made no progress in getting out of low-paid jobs, cyclers moved back and forth while escapers managed to gain employment in higher-paid roles and keep them for three of more years.

More than a quarter (27%) of people in the East of England on low pay in 2006 remain so today while 55% were classed as cyclers.

The report also found that hourly rates rose by just 40p in real terms for those working in the lowest paid jobs and that women are more likely than men to get stuck in jobs with few prospects. Low pay was classified as £8.25 per hour.

North North MP Chloe Smith said: “This is really important research – I am glad they have done it as it gives us more to work with in Norwich.

“I think there any many factors behind the headline numbers but having the National Living Wage rising each year will help. And I know that additional hours of child care are helping get parents back to work.

“Overall this evidence tells us we have all still got to work hard to bring exciting opportunities and more jobs to Norwich.”

Alan Milburn, chairman of the Social Mobility Commission, said: “Britain has an endemic low-pay problem. While record numbers of people are in employment, too many jobs are low skill and low paid. Millions of workers – particularly women - are being trapped in low pay with little chance of escape. The consequences for social mobility are dire.

“Britain’s flexible workforce gives us global economic advantage but a two-tier labour market is now exacting too high a social price. A new approach is needed to break the vicious cycle where low skills lead to low pay in low quality jobs. Welfare policy should focus on moving people from low pay to living pay. Government should join forces with employers in a new national effort to improve progression and productivity at work. Without concerted action, Britain will become more socially divided.”

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