Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Action needed on underemployment - UNISON and STUC responses

Wed 28 Nov 2012

UNISON, the UK’s largest union, is warning that underemployment is masking broader economic problems and holding back the recovery.

New figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) out today show that the number of underemployed people has risen by more than one million between 2008 and 2012.

The union is warning that people stuck in part time work will be more reliant on in-work benefits as well as having less money to spend in local shops and businesses, which is what we need to fuel our economic recovery.

It is calling on the government to take urgent action – investing in infrastructure to create jobs, and to end the public sector pay freeze – helping to avoid a triple dip recession.

Karen Jennings, UNISON assistant general secretary, said:

“The government likes to claim that the employment statistics are proof of our recovery. Underemployment statistics expose this claim as a sham.

“No wonder our economic growth has faltered – more than three million people are underemployed, many of them are stuck in part time work, but want full time hours. Growing underemployment is masking broader economic problems and holding back the recovery.

“We desperately need people to be out spending to fuel a real recovery. The government should intervene – creating jobs by investing in infrastructure and ending the public sector pay freeze to put money in people’s pockets.

“The alternative is to allow our economy to carry on falling into a triple dip recession.”

UNISON UK news release

STUC on Scottish underemployment statistics

The Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) General Secretary Grahame Smith, responding to today’s publication of official statistics on underemployment said:

“The STUC welcomes publication of these figures which shine a light on a problem all too often ignored.

“The STUC has consistently stressed that headline unemployment statistics do not tell reveal the full extent of Scotland's labour market problems. With ONS confirming that 9.9% of Scottish workers are underemployed there is now no excuse for debate not to be properly informed.

“The STUC waits with hope, if not expectation, for the chancellors Autumn statement to include serious measures to boost demand in order to start supporting the full time, decently paid, permanent positions people need to make ends meet.”

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