Third of workers in area earn 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” 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.
Director Katherine Chapman said: “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.”
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.
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. She said: “Last month’s rise in the National Living and Minimum Wage has benefited millions of people, and our minimum wage rates are now among the highest in the world.
“The Low Pay Commission (LPC), who recommend our minimum and living wage rates, are working to increase the Living Wage to 60% of median earnings by 2020.”
Article by data reporter Harriet Clugston