Location of low pay

Graphs on this page:

Supporting information:

Key points

  • The proportion of employees earning less than £7 per hour is highest in Dumfries & Galloway, Moray, Clackmannanshire and Highland.
  • More generally, the geographic pattern of low pay is very different from that for lack of work (see the indicator on the location of people in receipt of out-of-work benefits).
  • Low pay is a particular issue in rural Scotland, where the tourist industry, agriculture and related activities – low-paid sectors and often seasonal – are  significant employment sectors. 1
  • Scotland has a somewhat lower proportion of employees earning less than £7 per hour than most other parts of the United Kingdom.  This is the case for both men and women.

Definitions and data sources

The first graph and map show the proportions of employees paid less than £7 per hour by local authority.  The data is based on where people live rather than where they work.  To improve its statistical reliability, the data is the average for the latest three years.

The second graph shows, for the latest year, how the proportions of employees paid less than £7 per hour varies by region, with the data shown separately for men and women.

The data source for both the graphs and the map is the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE).  The proportions have been calculated from the hourly rates at each decile using interpolation to estimate the consequent proportion earning less than £7 per hour.  Note that there is no low pay data for either Shetlands or Eilean Siar and these areas are therefore not included in either the first graph or the map.

Overall adequacy of the indicator: high.  ASHE is a large annual survey of employers.

1. Poverty and social exclusion in rural Scotland. A report by the Rural Poverty and Inclusion Working Group, Scottish Government, 2001, page 15.