Stephen Clarke and George Bangham of the Resolution Foundation investigate the idea that the UK is experiencing a 'hollowing' out of the pay distribution as offshoring and automation diminish the number of mid-paid jobs.
The big pay story of the past decade or so has undoubtedly been the sustained and unprecedented squeeze on earnings that followed the financial crisis, with average weekly wages remaining some £15 lower today than in 2009 in real-terms. This squeeze, which restarted in 2017, has had significant and ongoing consequences for all parts of society.
As well as this squeeze there has been a more welcome shift. The minimum wage has provided relief for the lowest paid. The National Minimum Wage (NMW) and the National Living Wage (NLW), introduced in April 2016 for those 25 and over, has raised the wage floor relative to the median and all but eradicated extreme low-pay in the UK labour market.