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Fall in number of UK workers on low pay, think-tank study suggests.

THE proportion of low-paid workers in Britain has fallen to its lowest level since 1980, and low pay could be eliminated altogether by the middle of the 2020s, a new report predicts.

Research by the Resolution Foundation suggested that the introduction of the national living wage three years ago had "significantly" reduced low pay - from 20.7% of the workforce in 2015 to 17.1% last year.

The number of low-paid workers fell by almost 200,000 last year, including more than 130,000 women and 120,000 people aged 21-30, said the report.

The biggest falls were said to have taken place in administrative and support services, and retail, where the number of low-paid workers fell by 110,000 in total.

The think-tank said raising the living wage to a level which would end low pay - by setting it at two-thirds of median hourly earnings for workers aged 25 and over - would represent a further "huge change" to the labour market.

Nye Cominetti, of the Resolution Foundation, said: "The national living wage has transformed Britain's low-pay landscape, with the number of low-paid workers falling by 200,000 in the last year alone. Women and young people have been the main beneficiaries of a higher minimum wage, whose ratcheting up has not stopped employment rising to a record high."

TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady said: "This report is clear - working people can have a real pay rise without jobs suffering."

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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:May 30, 2019
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