Around one in five people in the UK experience downward social mobility at some point in their lives, according to the government’s new Social Mobility Commission report.
Some 21% of men and 24% of women, aged 30 to 59, experienced downward mobility between 2014 and 2018.
The report estimates that 48% of women whose parents worked in the police, fire or military were downwardly mobile, compared to 43% of men.
Graduates have a 15% chance of experiencing downward mobility compared to about 30% for those with GCSEs or below.
Downward mobility is the lowest for children of lawyers, doctors, teachers and scientists.
Steven Cooper, interim co-chair of the Social Mobility Commission said: “Downward mobility can be an acute struggle for many and there has never been a more important time to recognise this.
“The pandemic has highlighted the essential role played by nurses, porters, supermarket workers and carers. These workers have always been underpaid and often undervalued. Together, we need to start recognising and rewarding them more fairly.”