The rise of the highly skilled but low paid worker

Flip Chart Fairy Tales

More weird stuff from the labour market.

This chart from the OBR’s recent Economic and fiscal outlook shows how the wage distribution has shifted downwards over the last four years. Although, the number of people in work is higher than it was four years ago, there are now fewer people earning over £20,000 a year (at 2014 prices) than there were in 2010.

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That’s really odd when you look at the growth in employment by occupational group over the same period.

The OBR chart is based on the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE), which is produced in April. If we take the March ONS figures on employment by occupation for 2010 and 2014, that gives us a comparison for the same period. (The aggregate increase is slightly different because the figures are from different surveys.)

Employment by occupational group

Source:ONS Employment Statistics EMP09, 12 November 2014

The ONS has reclassified some jobs since I…

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