The low-pay, no-pay cycle

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Publication date

February 15, 2015


Low pay is endemic in the UK labour market. While the issue has
recently moved to the forefront of the public debate on employment and
job quality, it is a longstanding feature of the UK economy. More than
one in five workers in the UK experience low pay, a proportion that has
changed little in more than 25 years.
This research:
assesses the scale of the ‘low-pay, no-pay’ phenomenon, whereby
people cycle between periods of low pay and worklessness. Being low paid
increases the probability of periods of worklessness by around 10 per
cent, after accounting for a host of individual, family and employment
characteristics;finds that more than a third of low-paid workers (38.4 per cent)
experience a period of worklessness over a four-year period, and
provides new evidence on the risk of job loss among low-paid workers in
the UK;calculates the relationship between a host of individual and job-related factors and the risk of job loss.





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