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Low-paid jobs by borough

Key points

  • The five boroughs with the highest proportion of jobs paid below the London Living Wage are all in Outer London. The five boroughs with the lowest proportion of jobs paid below the London Living Wage are in Inner London. The Outer London rate (27%) is nearly double the Inner London rate (14%).
  • Of the five boroughs with the highest proportion of low-paid residents, four are in Outer London, with three in the Outer East & Northeast. The borough with the highest proportion of low paid residents is Newham, in Inner London and the lowest is Richmond.

Low pay by borough of residence and borough of work

Low pay by borough graph-01.png

What does this graph show?

This graph looks at low pay by boroughs. It is included because there are two ways of looking at the geography of low pay: by where the jobs are located, and by where the people who work in those jobs live. In a city of commuting like London, these two measures can vary substantially.

The line in this graph shows the proportion of jobs that are low-paid by where the workplace is. Boroughs further away from the centre of London tend to have a higher proportion of low-paid jobs. Eight of the ten boroughs with the highest proportion of low-paid jobs are in Outer London, with five of these in the Outer East & Northeast, although there are others in the Outer South (such as Merton and Sutton) and the Outer West & Northwest (such as Brent and Harrow). The only Inner boroughs in the top ten on this measure are Newham and Haringey. The borough with the highest proportion of low-paid residents is Waltham Forest, at 37%.

The lowest rate for low pay is in Tower Hamlets (which includes Canary Wharf) with 11% of all jobs low-paid, largely because employment tends to be more highly paid financial and business service jobs. The Inner-Outer split in the proportion of low-paid jobs is clear here as well: the seven boroughs with the lowest low pay rates are in Inner London.

The bars in the graph show the proportion of low-paid jobs by where the employee lives. So a low-paid worker whose job, say, is in Southwark but lives in Greenwich will be counted as part of Greenwich's low pay rate when looking at the bars in this graph. Five of the boroughs with the highest proportion of low-paid employees by place of work are also in the top six for low-paid residents: Haringey, Waltham Forest, Enfield, Brent and Newham. With the exception of Brent, these boroughs are all in the Outer East and Northeast or Inner East of London.

Many boroughs have experienced relatively large changes compared with 2013-14 when looking at the place of work measure. For example, mostly Outer London boroughs such as Sutton, Merton, Haringey, Havering, Redbridge and Barnet all saw increases of five percentage points or more.

The overall low pay rate for employees resident in London at 21% is higher than the workplace rate of 19%. The difference might arise from those who commute into London for highly paid jobs. Compared with 2013-14, the proportion of jobs based in London that are low-paid has increased by two percentage points, whereas the proportion of London residents who are low-paid has not increased. This suggests that increasingly low-paid jobs may be taken by those living outside of London.

Data used

Annual Survey of hours and earnings, ONS. Average for 2015-2016.

Indicator last updated: 4 November 2016