YORK has one of the highest proportion of jobs paying the Living Wage in Yorkshire and the Humber, figures from union GMB reveal, but a stark gender divide remains.

The union estimates that fewer workers in the City of York Council area are earning below the Living Wage rate than across the region or the country as a whole.

The Living Wage is £7.85 an hour.

Nationally, 21.7 per cent of workers earn less than that, while regionally the figure is 24.3 per cent. But in York, only 21.2 per cent of employees fall short of the Living Wage threshold.

Other North Yorkshire districts fared less well - with 30.9 per cent of jobs in Hambleton and 30.8 per cent in Harrogate paying less than the Living Wage.

% of workers falling short of the Living Wage

  • York: 21.2
  • Selby: 24.3
  • East Yorkshire: 29.2
  • Ryedale: 30.1
  • Scarborough: 30.1
  • Harrogate: 30.8
  • Hambleton: 30.9

Women and part time workers fare worse across all the areas. In York, 25.1 per cent of female employees are on less than the Living Wage, against 17.1 percent of men, while 38.6 percent of part time jobs pay less than £7.85 per hour.

The GMB's regional secretary for Yorkshire Tim Roache said: “No area is immune from the low‐pay epidemic which is why all local authorities need to champion the Living Wage in their communities, beginning with their own staff and contractors.

“The Living Wage matters because it takes into account the income that people need for a minimum acceptable standard of living. It is a first step towards a rate of pay that people can live on without relying on benefits. Life below the Living Wage is a life of want and worry for millions of workers and their families."