Are six million people earning less than the living wage?

Published: 19th Apr 2017

In brief

Claim

Six million people earn below the living wage.

Conclusion

Around six million jobs pay less than the living wage as calculated by the Living Wage Foundation. That's not quite the same as six million people because some people have more than one job.

“...six million people earning less than the living wage...”

Jeremy Corbyn, 19 April 2017

6.2 million jobs paid less than the Living Wage Foundation’s living wage in 2016, according to the Office for National Statistics.

That’s not quite the same as six million people because some people have more than one job.

Mr. Corbyn made the same claim in January, when we found that a separate set of estimates suggest around 5.4 million people with one job earned below the Foundation’s living wage in 2014.

The Living Wage Foundation’s voluntary living wage is currently set at £9.75 in London and £8.45 across the rest of the UK.

The charity, which focuses on the cost of living, base their calculation on an assessment of living costs. It shouldn’t be confused with the government’s new National Living Wage, which is effectively a new minimum wage for people aged 25 and over.

6.2 million jobs is about 23% of jobs in the UK.

This factcheck is part of a roundup of Prime Minister's Questions. Read the roundup.


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