I wonder if Owen has ever thought about this

It’s difficult to disentangle this result from the fact Sheffield is the low-pay capital city of the country: its average hourly rates are 10% below the British average.

Is the cost of living in Sheffield 10% lower than the national average? More than that perhaps?

I’d think it entirely possible, using some local area PPP adjustments, that many areas of the south offer less disposable income after housing costs….

In cities such as Sheffield, low-paid and insecure jobs have filled the vacuum instead. A young woman speaks to me as she pushes a pram. She was a duty manager at a supermarket. Even though she had many responsibilities and “worked all the hours God sent me”, she languished on the minimum wage. They make a lot of money, these big supermarkets, I say. “Yes – off people like me, working their arses off.”

What, 3%, 4% of turnover?

Cheryl is right, of course. The research on immigration does suggest it can suppress wages at the bottom end of the labour market.

Without an inspiring message from the left, the danger is that backlash against immigrants will grow. Blaming foreign workers for shrinking wages is, after all, a simple and easily digested message.

Whut?

52 comments on “I wonder if Owen has ever thought about this

  1. Another bullshit story from the Guardian.

    ” She was a duty manager at a supermarket. Even though she had many responsibilities and “worked all the hours God sent me”, she languished on the minimum wage. ”

    Really? She’s a duty manager and she gets paid exactly the same as the people she’s managing? Pull the other one.

  2. If you want a good lifestyle, get a job with a nationally set pay scale based in Hartlepool, Sheffield, Doncaster, Preston … The obvious big saving is in the cost of housing, but many other items are substantially cheaper than dahn sarf.

  3. “They make a lot of money, these big supermarkets, I say”. A sentence almost Fagin-esque in it’s sly insinuation.

  4. Venezuela has just hiked the minimum wage 50%, the fifth rise in a year.

    If only there were an influential columnist that could point out what a benefit some Bolivarian economic policy could be for Sheffield…

  5. Pat: What is the pay difference specifically?

    If it is peanuts why would anyone take a job with lots of extra responsibility?

  6. The research on immigration does suggest it can suppress wages at the bottom end of the labour market.

    Heresy. To even suggest it is heresy. But lol at the contradiction afterwards. Lovely doublethink.

    Really? She’s a duty manager and she gets paid exactly the same as the people she’s managing? Pull the other one.

    Could be possible if she worked long hours and they divided her salary by the number of hours worked. That’s the disadvantage of being paid a salary if your company are ruthless wankers.

  7. Blaming foreign workers for shrinking wages is, after all, a simple and easily digested message.

    That was a potent Brexit messages and people do think that immigration puts downward pressure on wages . A good example of this is London which has oodles of inward migration not only from abroad but also form the rest of the UK . As we see London wages have, as a consequence, become the lowest in the country ……..
    Hmmm perhaps it’s not that simple eh, but that other great Brexit myth, that immigrants are responsible or high housing costs is right, more people less housing yes ? That would be why since the 60s we have acquired what cannot be more than a 13% increase in population from immigration housing has, as a multiple of wages increased by about 13% in cost …or is that by more than ten times in places and no less than five times anywhere ( early 60s semi about £40k in today’s money)

    Oho, maybe some other factor is at work ,….could be eh, but Brexit volk stuck to blaming black people …sorry I mean foreigners and these lies were not only repeated by the outer EDL fringe , but by respectable Conservatives ad nauseum.

    It interests me that Owen ( look at my huge book advance ) Jones is sympathetic to this anti immigrants crap. Communists ( and at heart he is one ) like to mention that they got offed by the Nazis. They forget that many of their number found the shift from one sort of collectivism to another quite easy to make. Mussolini’s invention of tribal collectivism was caused by exactly that proximity, its called National Socialism.

    Supposedly Liberal Brexit sellers like TW ( and I not entirely convinced) are like people who have burnt down a house so they can toast a few sausages . Brexit is bringing downward pressure on living standards now . How long before the “left behind” start to demand the money they were promised by the liars . Well Singapore in the Atlantic aint going to deliver for them is it .

    I see no eradicating of the deficit going on , I see no reduction in taxes , in fact I see new taxes , I see no free trade in fact I see the most protectionist government since the the Victorian period
    I have left the Conservative Party to fight the detestable sporit of Brexit from the Liberal centre. I invite all those sickened with the mendacious mobocracy of Brexit to join me in returning the country to sanity .

    It is possible for decent people to be mistaken ……

  8. It is likely pointless to fisk the ravings of an evil loony like you NewRemainia but your latest serve-up of vomit deserves it.

    “That was a potent Brexit messages and people do think that immigration puts downward pressure on wages .”

    People think it cos its true.

    ” A good example of this is London which has oodles of inward migration not only from abroad but also form the rest of the UK . As we see London wages have, as a consequence, become the lowest in the country ……..”

    As IanB used to correctly observe the main reason for the prosperity of the London Bubble is the presence of the scummy state handing out its stolen/borrowed/printed largesse. Not the presence of its UN occupation force.

    “Hmmm perhaps it’s not that simple eh,”

    That is a shame because “simple” is still too high a setting for your powers of comprehension. Stupid and treasonous being your middle name.

    ” but that other great Brexit myth, that immigrants are responsible or high housing costs is right, more people less housing yes ?”

    Ah logic….only to be dismissed by the magic leftist mindset.

    “That would be why since the 60s we have acquired what cannot be more than a 13% increase in population from immigration”

    In your fantasy world perhaps. Have a look around your Londinistan bubble and get real.

    ” housing has, as a multiple of wages increased by about 13% in cost …or is that by more than ten times in places and no less than five times anywhere ( early 60s semi about £40k in today’s money)”

    Translation please????

    “Oho, maybe some other factor is at work ,….could be eh, but Brexit volk stuck to blaming black people”

    Biggest crew of migrants aren’t black Dumbo–or are they all the same to middle class CM shite like you ? After all what does it matter if you get your cheap nannys right?

    …”sorry I mean foreigners and these lies were not only repeated by the outer EDL fringe , but by respectable Conservatives ad nauseum.”

    All non-leftists do have a greater regard for the truth than leftists. That much is about the only sense you have managed….I was going to say “so far” but “ever” might be more accurate.

    “It interests me that Owen ( look at my huge book advance ) Jones is sympathetic to this anti immigrants crap. Communists ( and at heart he is one ) like to mention that they got offed by the Nazis. They forget that many of their number found the shift from one sort of collectivism to another quite easy to make. Mussolini’s invention of tribal collectivism was caused by exactly that proximity, its called National Socialism.”

    Note the above paragraph Dear Readers and all leftist scum who may be looking in.

    “Supposedly Liberal Brexit sellers like TW ( and I not entirely convinced(?) ”

    Even you aren’t convinced by your own bullshit?

    “are like people who have burnt down a house so they can toast a few sausages .”

    As contrasted to Remain who would burn down the house to toast their own dicks.

    ” Brexit is bringing downward pressure on living standards now . How long before the “left behind” start to demand the money they were promised by the liars . Well Singapore in the Atlantic aint going to deliver for them is it . ”

    Some ravings are beyond fisking.

    “I see no eradicating of the deficit going on , I see no reduction in taxes , in fact I see new taxes , I see no free trade in fact I see the most protectionist government since the the Victorian period”

    Yes–your former pals ie Dress-Up and her BluLabour friends are opportunists but they still remain Remain scum almost to a man (and that includes May). Are you now blaming your Remain buddies for being the statist CM trash that they–and you–are?

    ” I have left the Conservative Party to fight the detestable sporit of Brexit from the Liberal centre. I invite all those sickened with the mendacious mobocracy of Brexit to join me in returning the country to sanity .”

    Here we go. What was that line again? Oh yes….”They forget that many of their number found the shift from one sort of collectivism to another quite easy to make.”

    Correct. Amazing from your disordered brain but correct. BluLabour are no longer CM enough for you–despite their Brexit commitment being skin-deep if that–so you switch to even more CM loons.

    As for your invite–cram it up your rectum chum.

    “It is possible for decent people to be mistaken ……”

    Not in your case. There is no “mistake” about the evil you willingly spew nor is decent a word that could ever apply to treasonous face-painting offal like you.

  9. I invite all those sickened with the mendacious mobocracy of Brexit to join me in returning the country to sanity

    That’s why we voted for Brexit, because we were sickened by scum like you selling out to the EU cartel and to return the country to sanity.

  10. @ Ecks
    A small pay rise per hour, plus more hours plus better job security, plus a lack of alternatives.

  11. The research on immigration does suggest it can suppress wages at the bottom end of the labour market. …Blaming foreign workers for shrinking wages is, after all, a simple and easily digested message.

    So foreign workers do depress wages but it is important that the plebes are distracted by pretty baubles so they will not notice.

  12. This is going back a ways (15+ years) but once upon a time I managed a Delicatessen for one of the big supermarkets. We took £10k a week and I had the equivalent of 2 full time staff (plus myself). I was paid £13k.

    Back then minimum wage would have been around £8k or £9k from memory, but the staff were on a little more than that.

    Given the amount of extra hours I had to work, I was probably on a little less than minimum wage – if someone called in sick, I had to fill in for them. As my staff were mostly part time school and college students, that happened a lot. That’s one reason I’m not doing it any more.

  13. ‘He went and got a job. Sad, very sad, but it happens sometimes to unfortunates.’

    Well, that’s better than what I thought might have happened to him!

    Be nice to see him back, I had a run in or two with him but he was always a good debater.

  14. I know nothing about supermarket wages but bank supervisory staff are usually on the same grade or at most one grade higher (which is a few thousand pounds, not more) than the front counter staff.

    I had a guy working for me who had 20+ years experience in responsible branch based jobs – both retail and commercial. He was the lowest paid of my team for a couple of years and we had a real struggle with HR to get him promoted to the lowest management grade. He was ecstatic – we still had a Final Salary pension scheme at the time.

  15. RA,

    nothing has changed since you left other than turnover has increased and you only have one full time staff and half the number of hours for part timers (trading hours have increased as well).

    My department used to have 10 FTE staff, slowly this has been reduced to 4.5 (boiling frogs style) despite turnover increasing, good staff get pissed off and leave and customer service goes downhill.
    Give it a year or so and the big four will be reduced to beating up the customers, in 10 years the big supermarkets will be gone.

  16. What will replace them Bob, do you think?

    (I shop half Waitrose half Lidl – Lidl is great for wine and meat and a few forrin things we like. Waitrose is good for the rest.)

  17. Ecks,

    “As IanB used to correctly observe the main reason for the prosperity of the London Bubble is the presence of the scummy state handing out its stolen/borrowed/printed largesse. ”

    How many people do you know in London, that aren’t part of some tentacle of the state, or heavily protected by the state?

    OK, there’s “local jobs” like serving coffee in Starbucks, but almost no-one is doing free market exporting from London to the rest of the UK.

  18. “He went and got a job.”

    Private, public or fake charity sector? And was that self-confessed “hater of the state” living on state benefits before he found work?

  19. Interested,

    the first company that can do a decent online offer will eat their breakfast, lunch, and dinner whilst making them pay for it, none of them have a clue and even Amazon will struggle.

    The current online customer experience is pitiful though, it is as though none of the senior management have any knowledge or understanding of how ‘the high street’ evolved or why supermarkets gained the market share they hold and that they themselves are the dinosaurs just after the meteorite has landed.

    The first of the existing Big Four that closes their stores and builds houses on the land (but keeps the petrol station as a click and collect) might extend their trading lives for a while but it doesn’t look good.

  20. Interesting Bob, ta. What do you think is stopping them (or anyone) building a decent online offer? What would that actually look like? How will Amazon not be able to compete?

    Sorry for thread drift, this is of admittedly only academic interest to me!

  21. The evil I willingly spew …I`ll treasure that 🙂

    The point about foreigners coming over ‘ere taking our jobs …is one click from dumb-shit ignorant , and there’s your problem . When the economically active are drawn to areas of high employment (ie not the big Brexit areas where for the most part they just don`t like brown people ), they will compete for jobs but they also increase the size of the local economy.
    Its easy for a plasterer to see that sallow skinned funny smelling Poles are offering his services cheap .It is less easy to see the amount of plastering work on offer is also more due to the general level of activity

    People who work in Supermarkets may be amongst those who feel some downward affect but overall it isn`t obvious there is any . The progressives deskilling of vast swathes of the economy is more important by far but again this need not be bad thing , so much as an uncomfortably changey thing .Rich places have inward migration and that makes them richer ..and that has its own problems …Its complicated, I don`t know the answer .

    I do know it is not blaming furriners and I invite Worstall to agree with me

  22. “Sheffield lacks an industrial policy”

    And who’s been in charge of Sheffield for 83 out of the last 90 years? Surely not the people who in the 1980s turned away inward investment from light industrial firms telling them “it’s heavy industry or nothing, bugger off!”

    “Sheffield was once Steel City”

    Sheffield still *is* Steel City. Sheffield makes more steel now than it has ever done, it’s just that now it just uses one man and a dog instead of the tens of thousands of people in the past.

    HUUUUGE increases in productivity. Everybody knows that productivity=outputs made/inputs used, and people costs are one of those ‘inputs used’. Reduce ‘inputs used’ and by the iron laws of mathematics productivity goes up. Demand that productivity goes up and by the iron laws of mathematics ‘inputs used’ has to go down if ‘outputs made’ doesn’t change. Demand increases in “inputs used” and by the iron law of mathematics productivity goes down.

  23. “The point about foreigners coming over ‘ere taking our jobs …is one click from dumb-shit ignorant , and there’s your problem . When the economically active are drawn to areas of high employment (ie not the big Brexit areas where for the most part they just don`t like brown people ), they will compete for jobs but they also increase the size of the local economy.”

    ” I invite Worstall to agree with me”

    Amazingly, an hour back, I submitted a piece which said just that.

  24. The problem with supermarkets’ online offers is that they aren’t an online business: they are an online way of getting someone else to go round the shelves of your local supermarket for you.

    That means that you’re exposed to stock shortages at that store (your order is not real time, so things can go out of stock between ordering and packing), and to the whim of the picker in identifying what you want and getting you substitutes.

    If they could make it online-only, so you can see what you’re getting and know you’re going to get it, it would work far better.

    It’s not too bad at the moment, but I wouldn’t rely on it. It’s good for doing a bulk buy of non-perishable commodities, though.

  25. Immigration does affect labor demand as well as labor supply, but not necessarily in the same proportion.

  26. ‘Amazingly, an hour back, I submitted a piece which said just that.’

    I would advise against feeding the troll. Almost every fucker reading this blog knows that this is true, because we have at least a basic understanding of economics.

    Some of us then point out that the almost undoubted across-the-piece increased economic activity isn’t the only effect, and that it might be better to live very slightly poorer in a broad monoculture, than very slightly richer in an atomised society made up of groups that at best do not mix and at worst are at war with each other.

    To avoid dickface’s inevitable retort, I personally don’t give a shite what colour your skin is, or where you or your granny come from ‘originally’, or what religion you follow – I do expect you to place UK law well above any religious law, and I would like you to take advantage of, and to allow all family members to take advantage of, our essentially liberal political and social culture. That means no locking your wife away at home for her entire life so as she can’t speak English, no policing the streets to assault couples holding hands, or beat up gays, or confiscate booze, and no killing your daughter because she is dating a black, brown, white or yellow person of whom you don’t approve.

  27. BobRocket,

    “the first company that can do a decent online offer will eat their breakfast, lunch, and dinner whilst making them pay for it, none of them have a clue and even Amazon will struggle.”

    Nope. Apart from the thing of people wanting to see and touch certain types of goods, the reason supermarkets have survived for so long while other shops have perished is that they run very lean on staffing and generally rent cheap property. They’re already like warehouses for buying food.

    The reason the high street got killed in so many areas is that shops were very inefficient. I worked in a record shop and apart from Saturdays, lunchtime and half an hour and the start and end of day, you don’t have customers. You spend a bit of time on rearranging stock or tidying the shop, but you’d have hours of being really bored. And someone had to pay for all of that.

    But supermarkets aren’t like that. They operate at so much larger scale that even at quiet times, having someone sat on the till waiting a few minutes for a customer makes no difference. They’re the people who wiped out the butchers, grocers and bakers for this reason. Instead of 3 people stood around waiting for a customer, you had 1. Or maybe because you combined them, you had someone who was always reasonably busy.

    If online could beat supermarkets, there would be someone selling the same big wine brands online at lower prices. That’s a really easy product to manage. No refrigeration, no real sell-by date. Get a warehouse, set up an easy e-commerce site. Case of Jacob’s Creek, case of Casa Lapostelle. But no-one is.

  28. Newmania

    There is substantial evidence that immigration lowers wages for the low skilled. In addition, the evidence is based on direct effects – the lowering of wages through immigration and not the indirect effects – such as an increased need for better training and education for the scarcer local workers if immigration did not take place. I suspect that this latter effect dwarfs the direct effect – and it is undoubtedly one of the reasons why the low skilled are resentful, they see their jobs being taken and the possibility of doing better taken from them.

    The arrogance of the metropolitan elites towards the low skilled is one reason why Brexit happened. I certainly favour lower cost builders and baristas, but to deny the negative effect on the locals is foolish.

    You baselessly claim that overall activity rises with migration. But where the Poles remit their earnings back to Poland this means less money is available to be spent here not more especially if the jobs have been taken from locals. The UK saw overseas remittances in 2015 of $25 billion or around 1% of GDP. (This was $21 billion in 2010). In addition many of those who arrive in the UK and take low wage jobs receive substantial state aid, and represent competition for housing and state resources for the local poor. Whilst some migrants generate very high gains to the UK (American investment bankers), the low skilled ones probably are a net loss to the UK. Pro-migration people overstate the gains from migration and understate the costs, especially to the local poor.

    http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/research/Documents/workingpapers/2015/swp574.pdf

    https://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/migrationremittancesdiasporaissues/brief/migration-remittances-data

  29. “When the economically active are drawn to areas of high employment (ie not the big Brexit areas where for the most part they just don`t like brown people ),”

    Probably because they have some experience of imported proclivities–unlike middle-class leftist “I’m alright (Union face-painted) Jack twats like you.

    ” they will compete for jobs but they also increase the size of the local economy.”

    In the sense that areas enriched by big handouts from the state –contracts/customers with govt/govt-supported jobs/ toy train set payoffs etc–as opposed to small gubmint payouts–dole/benefits etc–have a lot more opportunity for those who WANT to work. Something by no means true of large numbers of arrivals anyway.
    “Its easy for a plasterer to see that sallow skinned funny smelling Poles are offering his services cheap.”

    Funny smelling? You must be getting rather too close. Altho you didn’t specify the kind of services you are after.

  30. Interested,

    legacy systems and a mindset stuck in the 1970’s.

    Pellinor is going in the right direction but retailing is more than just fulfilling a shopping list (even one with pictures).

    The customer experience is the ‘value add’ in the transaction which is why you pay more for a tin of Heinz beans in a Waitrose than a Morrisons.

  31. “I wonder if Owen has ever thought about this”

    I wonder if Owen has ever thought

    There, fixed it for you.

  32. If online could beat supermarkets, there would be someone selling the same big wine brands online at lower prices. That’s a really easy product to manage. No refrigeration, no real sell-by date. Get a warehouse, set up an easy e-commerce site. Case of Jacob’s Creek, case of Casa Lapostelle. But no-one is.

    Maybe, but the Wine Society and Naked Wines certainly do well out of our booze budget. Sainsbury provides the cooking wine. Majestic, and the difference between my local one and a warehouse is that the boxes are stacked not shelved, provides the Champagne. And I buy online everywhere except Sainsbury.

  33. He went and got a job.

    You can tell you don’t collect stats on this site: every other blogger knows damned well that most of his stuff is read and commented on by people who are at work!

  34. BobRocket,

    “the convenience of a supermarket killed the high street not the efficiency.

    Wine online ? try the UKs biggest.

    https://www.laithwaites.co.uk

    There was also convenience, but price was a factor. They were undercutting shops.

    I was specific about wine brands for a reason. Laithwaite’s, Virgin and all these companies aren’t selling products that allow a like-for-like comparison. They don’t sell the big brand names. They sell their own wines. You have no idea what the efficiency is based on that. And everyone I know that I trust about wine doesn’t use them. But they will shop at Aldi.

    There’s really no saving in mail order wine over supermarket wine. It may even be more expensive as you replace shipping of a van full of goods to the supermarket that you pick up with individual delivery of a case of wine.

  35. Lockers,

    You’re not going to be any cheaper than Tesco if, unlike them, you’re not “nailing them on prices”, are you?

    Balls to your company.

  36. I am a oenophile of sorts – buy the stuff direct from the chateau now and then, but mostly, like the rest of us it’s supermarkets and specialists. I’ve never had decent wine by mail order and as above these days I generally shop at Lidl for wine because they have some outstanding stuff at very good prices. Aldi not quite as good, Waitrose pretty good but more expensive. The rest are much of a muchness and you have to drop on lucky.

  37. I wonder what effect rapacious councils had or are having on the High Street. There are horror stories here of rates for some pubs going up 300%. Fucking ludicrous.

  38. Not just rates, but parking.

    I was in a small market town in Oxfordshire a couple of Saturdays back and it was busy when I arrived at about 10am, and still bustling when I left, at around 4pm. I am convinced that the large, free, car park around 100 yards from the town centre has a lot to do with that.

    The shops were all artisanal independent-looking too, rather than rows of empty lets or charity shops.

  39. BiWilts,

    all of the supermarket chains started in the high street, they competed on price/quality/service/family association like everybody else.
    Out of town hypermarkets was where they made their money, the prices were the same (petrol was cheap to get you to drive there) but you could do all your shopping under one roof.

    The One Stop Shop. Why spend 4 1/2 hours traipsing round numerous shops carrying heavy bags when you can do it all in one in less than 1 1/2 hours.

    Competing on price is a recent thing, Sainsbury was consistently 13% more expensive than Fine Fare and yet it was the market leader by a long way.

    Tesco (stack it high, sell it cheap) repositioned itself to equivalent quality but slightly lower prices to compete with Sainsbury, it only took the lead because Sainsbury lost its way and dubious accounting procedures (Woolworth style)

    Tesco only reduced prices when Walmart bought Asda.

    People will pay more for a premium service which allows Waitrose to stay in business (and gain share), if you are selling Aldi service at Tesco prices then the market will act accordingly.

    Never mind the quality, feel the width.

    The Big Four cannot see that anybody can supply a tin of beans at a marginal profit over the cost (it is a commodity in a mature market) and the only differentiator is the service provided.

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