Under-employed figures on the up

Increase: Lynn Collins
Increase: Lynn Collins
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The number of people who are under-employed in the North West has increased by 18 per cent since 2010, according to new analysis published by the TUC today.

Figures show that while unemployment has fallen in the region by 33,000 since the last election, under-employment – people working part-time because they can’t get a full-time job, or wanting more hours in their current job – has risen by 55,000.

The current level of under-employment of around 362,000 in the North West is more than 113,000 higher than it was before the recession. The TUC analysis of the Labour Force Survey shows that across the UK the number of people who count as under-employed has increased for both employees and the self-employed.

The fastest increase in regional under-employment since 2010 has been among self-employed workers. There has been a 22 per cent increase in the number of self-employed in the North West who class themselves as under-employed, compared to a 17 per cent rise for employees.

The TUC says the analysis shows that despite talk of a recovery, continual real wage falls mean that more people than ever are looking for extra hours to make ends meet.

North West TUC Regional Secretary Lynn Collins said: “Ministers have made much of the improving jobs figures as a sign that all is now well with the economy. But although unemployment is falling, there are still over 360,000 people in the North West who would like to be working more hours than they are.

“With more jobs being created, you’d expect under-employment would be on the wane too. But sadly with part-time, temporary, low-paid jobs often the only work that people can get, under-employment remains stubbornly high.”