One in three workers under-employed and seeking extra shifts

Number of underemployed Scots workers has soared since 2008
Number of underemployed Scots workers has soared since 2008
Share this article
Have your say

THE number of people in Scotland classed as under-employed has soared by 37 per cent since the start of the economic downturn in 2008, official

figures have revealed.

• Numbers of under-employed Scots have risen by nearly 40 per cent since economic downturn in 2008

• Employees seeking more hours have jumped from 178,000 to 244,000

Employees wishing to work more hours have jumped from 178,000 prior to the recession to 244,000. The data was published by the Office for National

Statistics, which compared

average under-employment

between 2005-8 with figures for 2009-12, revealing a rise from 7.2 per cent to 9.9 per cent.

Trade unionists warned that the figures were yet another

illustration of the weakness of the economy.

Over the same period, the average number of workers in Scotland increased from 2,474,000 and 2,452,000.

The pattern was repeated in other parts of Britain, with Scotland’s current under-employment rate matching that of the UK. Across the UK, the data showed that 3.05 million were under-employed, a definition that includes part-timers wanting a full-time job – an increase of one million since the start of the recession.

Occupations with the highest number of under-employed workers included

cleaners, caterers and labourers, with the highest rates in the East Midlands, Yorkshire and Humber, the North East and the South West, where more than 10 per cent were seeking more hours. The area with the lowest under-employment rate was the South East of England, at 9.2

per cent.

In the UK, more than one in five of workers aged 16-24 was under-employed this year,

compared with 10 per cent of those aged 35-49.

Unions and analysts said the trend showed how difficult it was to find a full-time job, as well as the impact on living standards. TUC general-secretary Brendan Barber said: “Around 2.5 million across the UK are currently out of work, but this

figure only tells half the story.

“The number of under-

employed people continues to grow and shows just how weak our recovery is.”

Karen Jennings, assistant

general-secretary of Unison, said: “The government likes to claim that the employment

statistics are proof of our

recovery. Under-employment statistics expose this claim as a sham.”

Andrew Sissons, a researcher at the Work Foundation, said: “Under-employment is a serious concern that is getting worse despite improvements in the

labour market overall. Not only are under-employed workers struggling to make ends meet, they are also increasing the competition for jobs.”

A Department for Work and Pensions spokesman said: “More than half of the 700,000 extra people in work since 2010 are working full-time and we have recently seen record numbers of people in employment.”