Some 30 per cent of employed Hastings residents earned less than £9 per hour in the year to end April 2018, a new study has found.
This amounts to a total of 9,600 residents earning under the living minimum wage, 42 per cent of whom were in part time work.
The Living Minimum Wage is set at £9 outside of London by the Living Wage Foundation and is voluntary.
The statutory National Living Wage, set by the government for people aged 25 and above, was £7.83 from April 2018, to March 2019 – rising to £8.21 in April this year.
The findings for Hastings come from a new study by GMB Southern which uses official data for earnings and hours published by the Office for National statistics.
The study found that the median earnings for Hastings residents in full time and part time employment in the year to end April 2018 was £10.58.
Across the south east as a whole, the median earnings for residents was £14.16 per hour.
A total of 549,650 people in the south east region were earning less than £9 an hour – amounting to 15 per cent of those in employment.
Paul Maloney, GMB Southern Regional Secretary, said: “There is a very high proportion of working families struggling to make ends meet every day. “Policies need to take this into account.”
Regarding some of the changes that the GMB believe should be implemented, Mr Maloney said: “On support, these families are dependent on housing benefits.
“They are adversely affected by the cuts to working families tax credits as it transitions to the universal credit system. The cuts should be reversed.
“On new homes planned, the majority must be for rent as affordable social housing.
“Contractors of outsourced public sector jobs should be required to offer a living wage to all workers doing these jobs.
“The law allows employers impunity to deny the legal rights of lower paid workers to combine into trades unions to force collective bargaining to get a better deal at work. This is perverse and should be changed.”