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Minimum Wage

Volume 476: debated on Monday 19 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what recent estimate he has made of the number of people receiving the national minimum wage, broken down by level of total annual earnings. (204535)

[holding answer 9 May 2008]: Around 800,000 adults aged 22 and over are receiving the October 2007 national minimum wagel.

For people receiving the national minimum wage who remain with the same employer for the whole year2 it is estimated that around a quarter are earning less than £2,800 gross annual pay, about half earn less than £5,400 per annum and around three-quarters earn less than £9,100 per annum.

The vast majority of those receiving the national minimum wage and earning less than the median of £5,400 per annum are part-time employees. There will also be some people earning above the national minimum wage who earn less than £5,400 per year (and are not included above) because they do not work many hours during a week or during the year.

1 BERR has arrived at this estimate by deflating the October 2007 national minimum wage for adults (£5.52 per hour) by average earnings growth between April 2007 and October 2007. This deflated rate is equivalent to £5.40 per hour. Using April 2007 Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings data around 800,000 individuals earn less than or equal to £5.40 per hour in the survey reference week.

2 Data on annual gross pay is only collected in the Annual Survey of Hours for employees who have worked with the same employer for a period of at least 12 months. In addition, the hourly earnings and hours worked in the reference week will not necessarily be the same for each week of the year.