Underemployment affects 10.5% of UK workforce

One in 10 of all workers in the UK is now officially underemployed- according to a study from the Office For National Statistics (ONS).Underemployment affects 10.5% of UK workforceIt says 3.05 million workers want to work more hours each week, out of a total workforce of 29.41 million.

The number of workers in this position has shot up by 980,000 in the four years since the start of the economic recession in 2008.

Most of the underemployment is concentrated among part-time workers.

The main reason for the growth of underemployment has been the economic downturn of the past few years.

“During this period many workers moved from full-time to part-time roles and many of those returning to work after a period of unemployment could only find part-time jobs,” the statistical office said.

“Of the extra one million underemployed workers in 2012 compared with 2008, three-quarters were in part-time posts.”

The ONS said 1.9 million of the underemployed were in part-time jobs and this meant, in turn, that 24% of all part-timers wanted more work.

By contrast, only 5.5% of full-time staff said they wanted to work more hours.

Each quarter, as part of its Labour Force Survey (LFS), the ONS asks respondents a series of questions about their willingness and ability to work more hours.

Someone is counted as underemployed if they are working fewer hours than they would like.

The growth of underemployment has gone alongside a big fall in the real value of earnings, the ONS said, which have been outstripped by inflation in recent years.

But a spokeswoman for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) said the figures showed that three quarters of all part-time staff appeared to be content.

“Part-time working suits millions of people and gives others the skills and experience to find a different job or take advantage of longer hours when they are available,” she said.

“For many people it is an important step to full-time work and coming off benefits.”

The ONS explained that most of the rise in underemployment took place between 2008 and 2009, when the recession first gripped the UK economy.

ONS statistician Jamie Jenkins: “Underemployment has gone up by one million people since the economic crisis”

Since then it has still been rising, though more slowly then before.

According to the ONS analysis, the problem is worst among the lowest paid, young workers and those in low-skilled jobs, such as labourers, cleaners and catering staff.

The shortage of work has also led to a big rise in the level of underemployment reported by the self-employed.

They are now even more likely to report being underemployed than those who work for others.

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December 27, 2012 · Home Based Jobs · Comments Closed
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