Low and High Pay in the UK: 2023

The Office for National Statistics has released its latest report on low and high pay in the UK, presenting insights into hourly earnings, National Minimum Wage (NMW), and National Living Wage (NLW). Here are the key findings:

  1. Low-Paid Employee Jobs:
    • The proportion of low-paid employee jobs based on hourly pay dropped to a record low of 8.9% in 2023, down from 10.7% in 2022.
    • High-paid employee jobs fell to 23.4% in 2023, a 0.4 percentage point decrease from the previous year.
  2. Earnings Distribution:
    • Average hourly pay increased for all percentiles year-on-year, with a more significant increase in the lower deciles.
    • The distribution of hourly earnings shows a decrease in the proportion of people earning at or below the minimum wage.
  3. Characteristics of Low-Paid Employees:
    • Low-paid employees tend to be part-time, younger (16 to 21 years), in elementary occupations, and working in the hospitality industry.
    • Proportions of low-paid employees are higher in the East Midlands and Northern Ireland.
  4. Characteristics of High-Paid Employees:
    • High-paid employees are concentrated in managerial and professional occupations, aged 35 to 49 years, and working in information and communication or finance and insurance industries.
    • High-paid employees are more likely to be men, full-time workers, and those working in London.
  5. National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage:
    • Approximately 366,000 employee jobs, constituting 1.3%, were paid below the NMW or NLW in April 2023, a slight decrease from 2022.
    • The proportion of employees below the NMW returned to pre-pandemic levels in 2022.

This comprehensive report provides a detailed analysis of the distribution of hourly earnings, shedding light on the changes in low and high pay across various demographics and industries. For further details, refer to the full statistical bulletin on the Office for National Statistics website.