Sheffield named 'low pay capital' of the UK

Sheffield city centreSheffield city centre
Sheffield city centre
Sheffield is Britain's 'low pay capital' with hourly rates 10 per cent below the national average, a study has found.

The Resolution Foundation said the city has a high concentration of large, low-paying sectors, such as office administration and retail, where typical hourly pay is lower than the UK average.

Another report by the think tank earlier this month found that the new National Living Wage - the new wage floor of £7.20 an hour for workers aged 25 and over, which comes into effect in April - will be felt differently across the UK.

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In Sheffield, 28 per cent of employees are set to be affected - more than any other major city in the UK.

Sheffield MP Louise Haigh has called for a city pay rise.

She said incomes have not risen since the financial crisis and economic growth has still not recovered, resulting in a ‘lost decade’.

Average hourly pay is £11.03 per hour, the lowest of any city region in the UK yet many earn even less with nearly one in five workers on the National Minimum Wage.

Residents in the north and north-east of the city are the lowest paid, with a net average household income of just £400 per week after housing costs.

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Ms Haigh said: “This report paints a stark picture of low pay in our city and our region. Far too many are working long hours just to get by and see their income swallowed up on childcare, rent and essentials like heating.

“This cannot go on any longer. That’s why we need to see workers here paid a real living wage not just the bare minimum, proper investment in a fund to help people on low pay retrain, to encourage entrepreneurialism and free, high quality childcare so parents don’t spend half their time at work just covering costs.

People here deserve better than poverty pay which is bad for workers and bad for the city’s economy.

"And for the quarter of young workers in our city on low-pay, the Government's absurd decision to exclude them from the minimum wage rise will feel personal."