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Are low-paid jobs really a stepping stone to better pay? A new study suggests it’s not that simple

By Alexander Plum, Senior Research Fellow in Applied Labour Economics, Auckland University of Technology
Gail Pacheco, Professor of Economics, Director of the NZ Work Research Institute, Auckland University of Technology
Kabir Dasgupta, Senior Research Fellow, Auckland University of Technology
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A job – any job – is generally thought of as better than no job at all. Consequently, low-paid work is often considered a “stepping stone” to a higher-paid job. But how easily do low-paid workers climb up the pay scale, really?

Our new research suggests past studies may have considerably overstated the chances of moving from low to higher pay. This has significant implications for understanding labour market behaviour.

Given the NZ$3.3 billion increase…

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