Young worker’s challenge #1: Low pay
It’s no surprise that younger workers are paid less than older workers – it’s been that way forever. But young people have particularly suffered since the financial crash.
There are several reasons why younger workers tend to be low paid:
- Being younger can be confused with having less experience.
- Low pay is more common in areas where young workers are likely to work: in the private sector, and particularly in hotels and restaurants, wholesale and retail, and administrative and support services.
- The minimum wage is lower for 21–24 year olds than everyone who’s older. It just isn’t fair to get paid less than someone else for the same work.
Young women are more likely to be badly paid. By their early twenties women already earn on average 8.5% less than men the same age.
Shockingly, young workers often live in poverty. They usually face the same cost of living as older workers, needing money for rent, council tax, bills, food, transport and childcare etc.
Britain’s young core workers are the voices that are missing from our movement. They are aspirational, dynamic and want to be successful. But they are often trapped in low income work without the opportunity to progress or achieve what they want.
We’ve identified ten challenges facing Britain’s young core workers, and challenge unions to meet them. Check back here for the next challenge and read the full report.