In work - but still skint? Many new jobs pay poverty wagesMORE, BETTER-PAID JOBS ARE STILL DESPERATELY NEEDED, ESPECIALLY FOR THE YOUNG

Despite a rise in employment, there is deep concern that wage growth is still too low – and more, better-paid jobs are essential if young workers are to feel the benefits of the economic recovery.

Unemployment levels fell between April and June 2014 – and demand for Jobseekers Allowance decreased for the 21st month running. But average pay has increased by only 0.6% in the past 12 months. Against an inflation (cost of living) rate of 1.9%, many people in work will feel poorer than they did this time last year. TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady warned:

“The combination of rising employment and falling pay growth suggest the economy is good at creating low-paid jobs but struggling to create the better-paid work we need for a fair, sustainable recovery.”

Graduate Fog is concerned that many of these new, low-paid jobs are being given to young people – in the form of shop jobs, bar work, or call centre shifts. While you could say “Well, that’s better than them having no work,” we are concerned that it could distort the true picture of how well graduates and other young workers are coping in today’s job market. It is also well-known that a low starting salary can depress an individual’s earnings for the rest of their career. After all, when you start on minimum wage, it’s a slow climb even to the £21,000 mark, at which you have to start repaying your student loan…


If you’re in work, how much are you earning – and can you live on it, without help from your parents or benefits? If you’re a jobseeker, would you rather have low-paid work than no work at all? Or are you holding out for a job that pays a salary better matched to your skills and qualifications? Share your views below…

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