Low pay

The Great Escape? Low pay and progression in the UK’s labour market

The coming years will be pivotal for the UK’s labour market. Along with new questions raised by Brexit, the responses to longstanding issues dogging firms and workers alike will be key. When it comes to action points, Britain’s woeful productivity growth since the financial crisis is top of the list but not far below is getting to grips with a decades-long over-reliance on low-paid jobs.

Sometimes overlooked is the extent to which these two issues are connected: a more productive economy is likely to be built upon a more highly-skilled, highly-paid workforce. Answering the question of whether low pay is the first step towards better-paid, better-skilled roles or as high as many employees climb is therefore an essential prerequisite in responding to the productivity challenge, as well as making sure the country works for all earners.