Hourly pay is improving but weekly pay inequality is high
One in two shift workers get less than a week’s notice of their working hours or schedules. Low-paid workers are three times more likely to experience contract insecurity or volatile hours or pay than higher-paid workers, and while the minimum wage has led to the first sustained reductions in low hourly pay for 40 years, we have made less progress in reducing inequality in weekly wages. Part of the explanation is that fewer than one in ten low-paid private sector workers are unionised; the decline of unions explains a sixth of the increase in wage inequality among men between 1983 and 2019.
Insecurity has increased in almost every sector and group
All occupational groups have seen increases in insecurity since 2005, although the biggest increase was in elementary occupations. 18 out of 20 industries have higher levels of insecurity than in 2010. Practices like zero-hour contracts are spreading from the gig economy to sectors like healthcare and education, while hospitality, transport and social care are also highly insecure. Insecurity has increased more for ethnic minorities than White Britons (105% higher since 2005, compared to 32%). Women are 25% more insecure than men and the average 20-year-old is almost five times more insecure than the average 60-year-old.