Part-time workers skew job numbers

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MORE than 80,000 full-time workers have disappeared from Scotland’s workforce as the banking-led downturn continues to bite – while the number of part-time and self-employed workers has risen by roughly the same amount.

The figures have prompted fears that the true size of Scotland’s jobless crisis is being masked by the growing number of workers who don’t appear on official unemployment records but can be working as little as ten to 20 hours a week.

MSPs on Holyrood’s economy committee are set to publish a report into “underemployment” among Scots later this year and are currently taking evidence on the issue.

The latest official figures from the Office for National Statistics also show there are about 100,000 Scots holding down second jobs.

Stephen Boyd, assistant general secretary of the STUC in Scotland, said: “People have spoken a lot about unemployment not rising to the levels you might have expected in recent years, given the fall in output.

“But that’s masked by the fact that there are people out there not getting enough hours and not spending what they would if they were in full-time permanent jobs.”

About 80,000 full-time jobs in Scotland have disappeared since 2009 and the number of people in full-time employment stood at 1.77 million in September last year, the latest ONS figures show.

At the same time, the number of part-time staff has increased by 41,000 to stand at 685,000. Most of this increase is down to workers being unable to find a full-time job.

The number of self-employed Scots also jumped by 34,000 to 299,000, and this group often finds itself working reduced hours.