Nearly 5 mn Britons earn below living wage

London, Sep 4 (IANS) Britain now has 4.8 million people earning below the living wage, according to a survey released by think tank Resolution Foundation Wednesday.

These people account for 20 percent of the total employees in Britain.

The Low Pay Britain 2013 report said economic downturn pushed a further 1.4 million employees below the living wage, a basic standard necessary for living, calculated at 7.20 pounds ($11.25) an hour outside London and 8.30 pounds in London in April 2012, reported Xinhua.

The benchmark wage has now increased to 7.45 pounds outside London and 8.55 pounds in London.

The report also claimed that 2.9 million female employees, 25 percent of the total, earned less than the living wage in 2012. Meanwhile, 15 percent male employees (1.9 million) fell into the same bracket.

Some 77 percent of young people aged 20 and under earn below the living wage.

According to survey, low pay was most common in hotels and restaurants sector, where two out of three employees were paid below minimum wage.

The number of low-paid younger employees, aged between 16 and 30, has climbed steadily from 26 percent to 37 percent in 2012.

The report suggests the shift may be due to growth in student employment among younger people and a general increase in older employment, with those continuing to work beyond 60 being higher-skilled and higher-paid than in the past.

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