London’s low pay landscape

Think tank: The Living Wage Foundation

Author(s): Sakinah Abdul Aziz; Joe Richardson

March 27, 2023

This report from UK think tank the Living Wage Foundation looks at the scale of low pay in London.

Living costs in London are some of the highest in the world. As such, the experience of low pay in London is often even more challenging than in other parts of the UK. For most of the last decade, Londoners were less likely to experience the issue of wages failing to match living costs, with the higher salaries that come with working in the capital meaning a lower proportion were earning less than the real Living Wage. However, recent evidence shows this is beginning to shift. With the cost-of-living-crisis driving already sky-high living costs, this is an unwelcome development for the capital’s workforce. This briefing note outlines the scale of low pay in London and examines why London has lagged behind other regions when it comes to alleviating low pay over the last decade. It also outline where low pay is typically concentrated in the capital, with attention to the sectors, boroughs and communities which are more likely to have jobs paid less than the Living Wage.