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Independent on Sunday: "Millions face years on the breadline: Britain has more long-term low-paid workers than ever"

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"A generation of Britons is destined to spend years languishing in low-paid jobs barely above the minimum wage, with the number in poorly paid work at a historic high, a major report will reveal this week.

"More than five million workers are in low-paid work, with the proportion of people on low salaries rising from 21 to 22 per cent last year, according to the new research by the Resolution Foundation think-tank. It badly dents hopes of an economic recovery driven by consumer spending: millions are in jobs so poorly paid that they have little if anything left to spend after their basic needs have been met.

"Matthew Whittaker, chief economist at the Resolution Foundation, said that the scale of the problem is a 'financial headache' for the Government because it 'fails to boost the tax take and raises the benefits bill for working people'.

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The Guardian:
"Low pay is breaking Britain’s public finances: the evidence can’t be denied"
"How much more evidence do we need? Last week's 'Britain Needs a Pay Rise' rally couldn’t have had a better endorsement than the alarming official figures that emerged this week. Low pay is not just unjust, it's crippling the country’s finances.

"On Wednesday Steve Machin, research director at the LSE's centre for economic performance, laid out to a meeting of economists the collected evidence on the nature of falling pay – and warned that this is beginning to look not like a slow recovery in wages, but a permanent, structural feature of the UK economy. He showed how the group-think of economic forecasters has consistently and wildly over-estimated an expected increase in wages: the OBR forecast for March this year was a wage rise of 4.3%. What happened has been a continuing real fall.

" 'There has been a startling and unprecedented lack of wage growth as unemployment falls,' Machin says. The 'herd mentality' of forecasters is always to expect things to improve, but there is no sign they are right. This begins to look like the new permanent, as flatlining real median pay began back in 2003, long before the crash. Nor, finds Machin, is immigration a cause of falling pay: areas with high or low immigration saw pay fall equally."

Link to: 'Are more jobs low-paying?'

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