Generational pay gap in South West more than doubled in last 20 years, warns TUC

By agency reporter
August 22, 2018

The pay gap between young and older workers in the South West has increased by more than half in the last 20 years, according to a new analysis published on 20 August 2018 by the Trades Union Congress (TUC).

The report shows that in 1998 the pay gap between over-30s and under-30s in the region was 11.9 per cent (£1.15 an hour in 2017 prices). However, in 2017 it had widened to 25 per cent (£3 an hour).

The generational pay gap has increased in real terms from £2,392 in 1998 to £6,240 in 2017 for someone working a 40-hour week. It has grown by £3,848 over the last two decades.

To mark its 150th year, the TUC is highlighting the challenges young people today face in the world of work, including low pay, insecurity and lack of progression.

Nationally, more than a third (36.1 per cent) of under-30s are currently work in caring, sales or elementary occupations, compared to just over a quarter (25.8 per cent) of over-30s.

The number of 21-30 year-olds working in low-paid industries like private social care (+104 per cent) and hotels and restaurants (+80 per cent) has shot up since 1998, even though today’s young workers are the most qualified generation ever.

TUC Regional Secretary for the South West Nigel Costley said: “Young people are getting a raw deal at work. Too many are stuck in low paid, insecure jobs, with little opportunity to get on in life.

“This is the most qualified group of workers ever. But huge numbers of hardworking young people are struggling to meet basic living costs – and many more can’t afford a home of their own or are putting off having children.

 “Joining together in a trade union is the best way to get a better deal at work. That’s why we’re committed to reaching out to more young people in workplaces where there isn’t a union.”

* Read  the TUC’s most recent report on young workers Stuck at the start: young workers' experience of pay and progression (published in June 2018) here

* Trades Union Congress https://www.tuc.org.uk/

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