London’s Poverty Profile

Low pay by qualification

What does this chart show?

The proportion of workers who are low paid by qualification level comparing 2011 with 2016. The risk of low pay for employees is lower for those with higher levels of qualifications. In 2016 just over 1 in 10 (13%) employees with a degree or equivalent were low paid whereas for those with no or unknown qualifications the proportion was 7 out of 10 (71%). Those with a degree or equivalent are by far the largest group of employees, they alone are more than half (55%) of all employees. So although this group has a low proportion of low-paid employees, they account for 260,000, 27%, of low-paid employees. Those with no or unknown qualifications only account for 3% of total employees and makeup 9%, 120,000, of those who are low paid. 

The proportion of workers who were low paid increased for those at every educational level between 2011 and 2016, however, they increased more for those with lower or no qualifications. The low pay threshold (the London Living Wage) increased by £1.10 (13%) over this period. 

The largest increase in low pay was for those with no or unknown qualifications, where the risk of low pay increased by 24 percentage points from 47% in 2011 to 71% in 2016. This is a relatively small group with low employment rates which shrunk as a proportion of all employees over this period. There are now only 120,000 people in this group. The smallest increase was for those with a degree or equivalent where the risk of low pay increased by four percentage points from 9% in 2011 to 13% in 2016.


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