More than a third of Scarborough workers earn less than Real Living Wage

Scarborough has one of the highest proportions of low earners in England, with more than a third of workers paid less than the Real Living Wage.
Scarborough has one of the highest proportions of low earners in England, with more than a third of workers paid less than the Real Living Wage.

Scarborough has one of the highest proportions of low earners in England, with more than a third of workers paid less than the Real Living Wage.

Charities and trade unions have warned of a “rising tide of in-work poverty” across the country, with millions of workers struggling to make ends meet.

The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics reveal 36.6% of jobs in Scarborough earn less than the real living wage – around 12,000 workers in total.

The Real Living Wage, which was £8.75 per hour when the data was compiled but has since been revised to £9, is set by the Living Wage Foundation.

It is higher than the living wage introduced by the Government in 2016, which is the legal minimum employers can pay workers aged 25 and over, and instead calculates the minimum amount a person needs to earn to meet their everyday living costs.

The Living Wage Foundation argues that businesses paying the living wage benefit from more productive and motivated workers.

“If we want to build a modern, dynamic economy, we need to see more businesses step up and join the over 5,000 Living Wage employers committed to pay a fair day’s pay for a hard day’s work,” said director Katherine Chapman.

The figures reveal stark variations across the country, with the proportion of workers earning below the living wage ranging from a low of 6.3% in the City of London, to a high of 48.7% in Redbridge, in East London.

Across Yorkshire and The Humber, 25.7% of jobs pay below the Real Living Wage.

Helen Barnard, deputy director of policy at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, said it was vital to invest in places with low employment and low pay.

She said: “It is totally unacceptable that at a time of record employment we are seeing a rising tide of in-work poverty across the country.

“We need to be more ambitious about improving pay and progression for those at the bottom.”

Unite assistant general secretary Steve Turner said: “For too many people, the insecurity of not knowing if they will earn enough to pay the bills and put food on the table is a daily fact of life.

“It is an obscenity that we have 151 billionaires in this country while 4.1 million children in working households are living in poverty.”

The data also reveals a significant gender gap among living wage earners in Scarborough.

Women were more likely to earn below the threshold – 41.3% compared to 29.9% of men.

This was worse than the average gap across Great Britain, where 27.7% of women and 17.7% men missed out on the living wage.

Part-time workers are more affected by low pay than those with full-time jobs.

In Scarborough, 8,000 part-time workers are taking home less than the living wage – 59.6% of the total.

Just 22.6% of full-time workers were paid less than the living wage.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said it was committed to fair pay for workers.