Number of low paid jobs increases in London

The number of low paid jobs in London has increased, boosted in part by a rise in part-time and insecure work, according to a report from the London Assembly Economy Committee.

The report, ‘The Hourglass Economy: An analysis of London’s labour market’ , says working families are particularly affected with 57% of London’s poor made up of families who are in work. The prospects of moving out of low wages are also declining, says the report.

It states that the labour market has become ‘hollowed out’ with a 13 per cent decline in the proportion of mid-skilled jobs (skilled administrative, manufacturing and trade jobs). Moreover, the proportion of people on part-time or insecure contracts has increased from 25 per cent to 29 per cent since 2008. The proportion of jobs paying less than the London Living Wage has risen by 54% since 2008 – one in five jobs now pay less than the London Living Wage.

The report says London also has seen a lower rise in productivity rates than the rest of the country, mainly due to a skills shortage.

The report recommends that the next Mayor should continue to promote the London Living Wage, with an ambition for all large multinationals to pay the London Living Wage over the next two years, and should establish a working group to look at low pay sectors, such as retail and hospitality and to look at ways in which organisations can improve their contractual arrangements and working practices.

It also says:

  • The next Mayor and the London Enterprise Panel should work to ensure that London’s apprenticeships programme better provides the skills needed for London’s key growth sectors.
  • The next Mayor should call for all job adverts to include contract and pay details to improve transparency and to encourage more firms to adopt fairer pay and conditions.

Fiona Twycross AM, Chair of the Economy Committee, said: “Despite the positive headline economic figures, for many who keep this city running, working conditions are tough with low-pay and insecure contracts. This report shows that since 2008 London has become increasingly polarised, with low pay, the erosion of mid-skilled jobs and a growing skills gap entrenching the inequalities in London’s labour market.

“As London’s economy sees growth, employers shouldn’t have to reduce hours, use zero hour contracts or freeze pay to protect jobs. We need stable, well-paid and good quality jobs in the capital. Londoners deserve to live and work securely, without fear of working poverty.”

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