19 March 2015
We have reported many a time that falling unemployment figures masks the more sinister reality of the new jobs market; casualisation, underemployment, zero hours contracts and bogus self employment.
We know that the increasing quantity of jobs is not being matched by quality. As Frances O’Grady said:
“Wages are stuck in the slow lane of recovery and are not set to be back to their pre-recession levels until the end of the next parliament.
Underemployment has fallen very little since the recession, so problems remain with the quality and security of jobs that people are getting. We are still not seeing any significant progress on youth unemployment, which raises concerns that young people are being shut out of the recovery.”
The latest labour market statistics also show that women, young people and people from BAME backgrounds are faring the worst.
Underemployment – those in work but wanting more hours – now stands at 3.2 million, almost one million more than it was in 2008. Underemployment is a significant factor in in-work poverty and 6.7 million of the 13 million people in poverty in the UK are now in a household where someone works.
There is barely any improvement in youth unemployment – it remains shockingly high at 743,000.
Analysis of official figures by the House of Commons Library for Labour also showed that since 2010, the number of young people from ethnic minority backgrounds who have been unemployed for more than a year has also risen by almost 50 per cent.
It is the position of the IER that collective bargaining is the most effective way to ensure wage growth and quality of employment. To find out more about collective bargaining, read the IER’s Reconstruction After the Crisis: A Manifesto for Collective Bargaining.