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Young adults enjoying better pay following minimum wage rises

30 May 2019

Research conducted by the Resolution Foundation has shown the number of low-paid British workers has fallen to its lowest level since 1980.

Young adults have been identified as seeing the highest level of benefit, according to the BBC News report.

With 17.2% of workers shown to be on low pay in 2018, 4.7m in total, this was the lowest number since 1997 and the lowest proportion since 1980.

The study showed that there were 200,000 fewer low-paid workers in 2018 and 120,000 of these were aged between 21 and 30.

These results were attributed to the National Living Wage reducing low pay and the research indicated the issue could be eliminated within the next five years.

It referred to both the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Labour Party's "ambitious plans" for the National Living Wage, that will see the UK implementing "one of the highest minimum wage rates in the world".

The Living Wage Foundation charity has said that a minimum wage of £9 per hour is necessary around the UK, rising to £10.55 per hour in London, to "meet the costs of living".

Although the National Living Wage rate is currently £8.21 for those aged 25 and over, the Resolution Foundation has said it continues to deliver additional benefits for other low-paid workers.

"Clearly, the UK still has a significant low pay problem, but it is a problem that is getting smaller after many years of stubbornly refusing to do so," said the report.

Company attitudes towards the National Living Wage continue to differ, ranging from complete support to complaints about the impact this has had on the business, although few have expressed this officially.

However, the rise in focus on wellbeing in the workplace combined with other initiatives to support the workforce seems to indicate that the focus on minimum wage rates will be adhered to for some time to come.

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