Low pay guff

Apparently young workers pay is the hardest hit in the economic turndown. Having read the article and digested it, I've come to completely the opposite conclusion.

Young workers have been hit hard by the economic downturn new research suggests, with under-30s seeing their real wages fall much faster than every other age group.

Can somebody please explain to me the term 'real wages'. It seems to me that it is the gross wage but with so many other economic circumstances factored in that it becomes a totally meaningless figure.

Like millions of young workers 24-year-old Vicky Cooper hasn't had a decent pay rise for years.

You see, where her 'real wages' are falling fast, her actual real wages are increasing year on year. Costs may be increasing more than her wage but there are ways around that. Tighten the belt and spend less, maybe stoppit with the clothes, make-up and ray bans,


and work hard, get experience and qualifications and move yourself up the ladder.

"But I'm in no position to ask for a rise when there are people who will do my job for less than I get paid."

That's the idea in a free market economy. You get paid what you are worth. If you want more pay then it is up to you to increase your worth to your employers.

It's well known that under-25s are struggling to find work.
The latest official figures show that 935,000 are unemployed in the UK.
But a new study also suggests how young people already employed in both full and part-time jobs have been hit by the economic downturn.
Research [...] suggests those under 30 have seen their real pay fall £890 a year since the credit crunch first hit in 2008.
"While rising prices have eaten into the living standards of all employees, younger workers' pay packets have shrunk even faster than those of their parents and older workers,"
"There are fewer jobs for young people and those who do work find they are working fewer hours for less pay."

The trouble is with young workers, they have little life experience, and less job experience. Those that do not have many qualifications, receptionists for instance, need to be starting at the bottom on a low wage and working up with experience. The more the government increase the minimum wage, the harder this becomes. If an employer is told he has to pay at least £5.50 per hour, he will only employ people that are worth £5.50. That may mean people who have already been working for a couple of years or people with higher education qualifications, effectively pricing young and unqualified people out of work.

This is the bit that really grips my shit:

The average 16 to 29-year-old was paid £333 a week in 2010, a drop of £17 in two years after changes to the cost of living are factored in.
Those aged 16-21 fared even worse - their real pay fell by £21 a week.


The average 16-29 year old was paid £333 pounds per week. It doesn't say if this is net of gross, so lets assume gross. £333pw gross is £17,316 per year.

The age range is also a bit misleading. 16-29 year olds? 17k per year is more than enough for anybody aged between 16 and 19. Their expenses will be minimal as they should be still living with their parents. All they need is a bit for fags and booze. I would say 10k is ample for that age range and probably the most they are likely to be getting paid anyway.

If we stick to the averages, that leaves an average wage of £20,242 for young earners between the age of 20 and 29.

To say their 'real pay' fell by 17 pounds over two years is manipulating the figures to return junk. The increased cost of living would not be passed onto folk living with their parents and I'm willing to bet there is a huge chunk of people between 16 and 29 doing just that.

Also, both the wage figures quoted, 17k and 20k are more than what I get paid and I manage half a mortgage and all the incumbent bills that go with, and still have money for the pub.
Are these poorly paid young people working for the public sector perchance?

Young workers on low pay often find it harder to compete with older, experienced recruits, making it more difficult to switch to a better paid job.
"Another way of looking at the picture is that young workers are at the back of the queue for jobs and when they get to the front they find most of the good jobs have already been snapped up,"

No. When you get to the front of the queue, you will be older and more experienced. You can't have it all now.

In the meantime, stop blowing all your money on the latest electronic gagittery. You don't need it.

4 Comments:

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