Young people hit hardest (again) by low wages

It’s not really good news for anyone

British workers are earning 1% less in real terms than they were 15 years ago, a report has found.

The Institute of Fiscal Studies also said young people have been hardest hit by the recession – something that will not come as a surprise for people in that age group.

“Between 2008 and 2014, there is a clear pattern across the age spectrum, with larger falls in earnings at younger ages,” the report said.

Changes to weekly earnings by age

Earnings chart

Between 2009 and 2011, earnings of 22-29 year olds fell by 10.6%, compared with less than 7% for other ages.

Pay for those aged over 60 has already recovered to its pre-crisis level but for 22-29 year olds, pay is still 9% lower than in 2008.

Younger people were also more likely not to have a job. The proportion of the workforce made up by 18-24 year olds fell by 1% to 11.3% between 2007 and 2014, as young people were hardest hit by the lack of available jobs in the labour market.

There were some big changes in the labour market in terms of job types during the recession too. The number of people working in the public sector has fallen from 19.1% in 2007 to 17.3% in 2014 – partly due to cuts to public sector jobs.



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