In 2015-16 New Economy undertook a research programme into Greater Manchester’s low wage labour market. This series of reports presents the findings.
Just under a quarter of Greater Manchester’s workforce earns less than a living wage, making low pay a significant economic challenge in the city region. This is the main report of the project and presents New Economy’s analysis of the causes and consequences of low wage work.
A brief summary of the main findings of the low pay research programme.
Greater Manchester is among the city regions with the heaviest dependence on the tax credit system in the UK, reflecting the need to top wages up with state support. The report presents evidence about tax credit trends and analyses strategies for reducing the costs of the tax credit system.
In line with other research, this report highlights the difficulties of moving out of low wage work. For many, life on low pay is not a short-term stop-gap, but a long-term way of life. The report also analyses the characteristics of those who ‘escape’ low pay and those who are ‘stuck’ in it.
Many firms do not upskill their workforces or use the skills that people currently have. This report analyses the ‘product market strategies’ - business models – of firms to understand how strategic choices about how a business should compete shapes the nature of work.