TUC research reveals shocking truth of people working part-time because they can’t find full-time jobs

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The number of men doing part-time jobs because they can’t find full-time work has more than doubled over the last four years, according to a new TUC analysis of official figures published today.

The TUC findings – published ahead of the latest unemployment figures tomorrow – show that the number of men doing part-time jobs because they can’t find full-time work more than doubled from 293,000 in December 2007 to nearly 600,000 in December 2011.

The number of under-employed women has increased by 74 per cent to 780,000, bringing the total number of people in involuntary part-time work to a record high of 1.38 million.

The proportion of women working part-time that don’t want a full-time job, often because of family and caring responsibilities, has been falling. This shows that the recent rise in part-time employment has mainly come about through necessity rather than choice, says the TUC.

People living in the East of England have experienced the sharpest increase in under-employment over the last four years, with the number of men trapped in part-time jobs more than trebling to reach 58,385. The North East, Northern Ireland and London have also experienced sharp increases in involuntary part-time work.

The number of women trapped in involuntary part-time work has more than doubled in Northern Ireland and London since December 2007.

The TUC analysis suggests that there is a link between rising under-employment and rising overall unemployment, with the North East and Northern Ireland struggling on both measures.

The findings come ahead of the latest unemployment figures published tomorrow, which the TUC hopes will show another fall in unemployment.

However while overall unemployment fell last month, so too did the number of people in full-time work. While part-time or temporary jobs may be better than no work at all, people are having to make huge salary sacrifices, reduce their hours and trade down their skills to stay in work. This is bad news for family finances and the UK’s overall economic performance as people are not working as much and as productively as could do, says the TUC.

Creating more well-paid, skilled, full-time jobs is the only way to secure a sustainable recovery that works for everyone, the TUC argues, as it will raise people’s incomes and help them to work at their potential again.

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: “Last month’s fall in unemployment was a welcome surprise. No-one should be under any illusion however that the jobs crisis is over.

“Virtually all employment growth is coming from part-time and temporary jobs but most of the people taking them want and need permanent, full-time work.

“Any job may be better than no job at all but people are having to make huge salary sacrifices to stay working. This is bad news for family finances and it is holding back our economy.

“Any hope of an economic recovery that benefits everyone rests on the growth of well-paid, skilled, full-time jobs. It is the only way for people to increase their incomes and get back to working to the best of their ability.

“Proper jobs growth, rather than self-defeating austerity and making work even more insecure by attacking basic employment rights, must be the government’s top priority.”

 


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