5 September 2014
Underemployment – those in work but wanting more hours – has risen by 432,000 under the coalition government, with an increase of 100,000 over the last two years. The number of self-employed citing underemployment has risen most sharply.
These figures underline the superficiality of the supposedly improving jobs market. While the numbers of those in work may be rising, it is imperative to look at the quality of employment, as well as the quantity.
Frances O’Grady, general secretary of the TUC said “With more jobs being created, you’d expect that under-employment would be on the wane too. But sadly with part-time, temporary, low-paid jobs often the only work that people can get, under-employment remains stubbornly high and is still rising.”
“As the squeeze on pay continues, many people don’t have enough money for everyday essentials, let alone the cash to cover any unexpected emergencies. With no let up in their financial woes in sight, people are understandably looking to take on more hours just to keep the wolf from the door”.
Unison is calling for an expansion of the living wage, and fewer people on zero hours contracts.
As Trade Unionists prepare to travel to Liverpool for Trade Union Congress 2014 the Center for Local Economic Strategies has published research, commissioned by Unison, indicating that the North-West has been hardest hit by austerity.
North West regional secretary Kevan Nelson said “Austerity is failing the north west. Our social fabric is threatened by cuts in valuable public services while job losses and the collapse in real wages have left people losing hope of secure employment. We cannot tolerate permanent austerity and there is an urgent need for a change in direction.”
For more information on Zero Hours Contracts Re-regulating Zero Hours Contracts., is available now.