"Gender and lack of higher education are the key brakes on people moving up the earnings ladder, with occupation, part-time work and residency outside London also proving a hurdle towards a better standard of living.
"Social mobility - the chance of moving on in one's life through work - is a rarely used measure of how able individuals can improve their lot in life. But a report by Lee Savage, of Resolution Foundation, finds upwards mobility is largely restricted to those in the middle and upper part of the earnings distribution range. A comparison of the earnings mobility of every person born in the UK in one week in 1958, and in 1970, showed that 40% of those people did not alter their income over the "peak earning" phase while they were in their 30s.
"This, says Savage, matters because median wages have been stagnating since 2003. The share of national income going to low-to-middle earners has fallen from £16 in every £100 in 1977, to £12 in 2010."