The number of people who are underemployed has gone up 330,000 since 2010. Young people are particularly likely to be affected – in 2012 30 per cent of 16-24 year olds wanted longer hours.
The news comes in the same week as it was revealed that over a million UK workers (3% of the total workforce) were employed on ‘zero hours’ contracts, which do not guarantee that they will be offered any work in a given week.
People in Shields are particularly affected by these contracts, which are most common in the retail and service sectors. Workers in the constituency currently work fewer hours than both the national and the regional average.
“People who are underemployed do not show up in unemployment statistics, but many of them still struggle to get by because they never know how much they can expect to earn week on week. This not only affects incomes, but it creates huge stress for families who can never be sure whether they will have enough money to pay the bills or get their weekly shop.
“People need jobs that will provide them with regular work and a steady income, but this Tory-led Government has failed to create them. Zero hours contracts mask the true extent of the Coalition’s failure on employment.”