Unemployed have more disposable income than zero hours workers

1st December 2014

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Unemployed people in the UK have more monthly disposable income than zero-hour workers according to a new report out today.

Scottish Friendly’s ‘Disposable Income Index’, which tracks the amount of money people have left over each month after bills and essentials have been paid for, has revealed that on average, the country’s unemployed have 9.3 per cent of their income left over each month after essential bills have been paid, compared to just 7.9 per cent for part-time workers and 7.8 per cent for zero hour workers.(1)

The report suggests the nation’s unemployed have on average £174 left over as spending money each month, compared to just £130 for those who work zero-hour roles.

Across the UK, disposable incomes have risen by 2.3 per cent in the last three months(2).  The survey shows people now have an average of 10.5 per cent of their salary left over each month after bills and essentials have been paid for, up from 5 per cent at the start of the year. This equates to an average disposable income of £278.(3)

Calum Bennie, spokesperson for ISA provider Scottish Friendly, says: “While the country as a whole has higher disposable income than they did a year ago, there is a broader concern that those who work part-time or that have zero-hour roles are likely to have less cash in their back pocket than someone who is unemployed.

“The findings should serve as a stark warning of the problems facing so many workers in the UK. It’s bad enough that people don’t know what is going to be in their wage packet at the end of the month, but the index shows that for certain workers, there now appears to almost be a disincentive to work.”

Despite the rise in disposable income, the number of people regularly putting money aside in savings each month saw a slight dip, falling by two per cent on the same period three months ago. At present there are around 29.3 million savers (58 per cent of adults in the UK) saving on average just £252 each month.

Bennie adds: “It’s natural that we are likely to see a slight dip in savings in the run up to the festive season. That said, there is still over £73 billion being put into savings accounts each month and with over half of the adult population contributing, the UK is developing a savings culture. Hopefully as we move into next year we will start to see more people take advantage of new tax-free savings and investment products that come to market in the run up to April.”

Current levels of disposable income by employment type:

Region of the UK

Per cent of earnings attributed to disposable income

Average monthly take home salary / income (after tax)

Average disposable income

NATIONAL

10.5 per cent

£2,647

£278

Full time

11 per cent

£3,193

£355

Self employed

10.7 per cent

£2,482

£268

Unemployed

9.3 per cent

£1,869

£174

Short term contract

8.8 per cent

£2,681

£236

Part time

7.9 per cent

£2,419

£192

Hourly workers

7.8 per cent

£1,647

£130

Regionally, London has seen the biggest rise in disposable income in the last three months. A rise of 3.5 per cent now means the average disposable income is £343. However, while London has the highest average disposable income, as a percentage of take home salary, people in the North West are left with the most cash in their pocket, at 11 per cent.

Current levels of disposable income by region:

Region of the UK

Per cent of salary attributed to disposable income

Average monthly take home salary (after tax)

Average disposable income

NATIONAL

10.5 per cent

£2,647

£278

North West

11.8 per cent

£2,572

£305

East Midlands

11.3 per cent

£2,580

£294

Scotland

10.8 per cent

£2,776

£301

North East

10.6 per cent

£2,146

£228

Yorkshire & Humberside

10.5 per cent

£2,352

£248

London

10.4 per cent

£3,277

£343

Wales

10.2 per cent

£2,461

£252

West Midlands

10.0 per cent

£2,645

£266

South East

9.9 per cent

£2,971

£296

South West

9.7 per cent

£2,362

£230

Northern Ireland

8.6 per cent

£2,387

£207


 

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