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Low paid jobs by industry

Key points

  • Some industries are over-represented in terms of low pay, while others are underrepresented.
  • The hospitality sector (hotels and restaurants primarily) make up 5% of all jobs in London but nearly one-in-five of all low-paid jobs. 17% of jobs in London are in retail, but 28% of low-paid jobs.
  • Private sector services make up 38% of all employment, but relatively less with 22% of low-paid employment.

Low paid jobs by industry

What does this graph show?

The graph compares the industry composition of low-paid jobs in London to all jobs. Some sectors are strongly overrepresented: for example, the hospitality sector (hotels and restaurants primarily) make up 5% of all jobs in London but nearly one-in-five of all low-paid jobs. Retail is also more heavily represented in low-paid employment than all employment: 17% of jobs in London are in retail, but 28% of low-paid jobs.

Some sectors, on the other hand, are the opposite and are underrepresented in low-paid employment. For example, private sector services make up 38% of all employment, but relatively less with 22% of low-paid employment. This is still a substantial share of the low-paid. The types of employment in this sector include those that might be relatively well paid - such as financial and insurance activities, but also administrative and support work, which tends to be less well paid.

At a more specific level, some industries make up a very large share of low-paid jobs. Wholesale and retail by itself (so excluding transport and storage) has 177,000 low-paid jobs, 27% of the total. Hospitality accounts for a further fifth by itself. In total, the four industries with the highest share of low pay make up 73% of all low-paid jobs in London.

The implied 'risk' of low-paid in these sectors also varies. 63% of jobs in hotels and restaurants are paid below the living wage, whereas only 10% in private sector services are. GLA Economics examined the persistence of low pay (whether someone was low-paid for three years of four) and found that employees in low-paid sectors such as retail, care, hospitality and cleaning were four times more likely to be persistently low-paid.

Data used

Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings, ONS

Indicator last updated: 21 October 2015