Male under-employment in East of England trebles, says TUC

THE number of men stuck in part-time jobs because they cannot find full-time employment has more than doubled in the last four years, with the eastern region faring even worse, with a trebling in involuntary part-time work among men, a study has round.

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) says nationally almost 600,000 men were working part-time in December while looking for full-time positions, compared to 293,000 at the end of 2007.

In the eastern region, the number of men working part-time involuntarily increased by 45,029 among men and 32,222 among women.

Latest official figures show that 1.4 million workers and self-employed people work part-time because they cannot find full-time employment, the highest figure since records began in 1992.

People living in the east of England have been hit by the biggest increase in under-employment over the past four years, with the number of men “trapped” in part-time jobs seeing a 337% increase.


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The TUC findings – published ahead of the latest unemployment figures tomorrow – show that the number of men doing part-time jobs because they can’t find full-time work more than doubled from 293,000 in December 2007 to nearly 600,000 in December 2011.

The number of under-employed women has increased by 74 per cent to 780,000, bringing the total number of people in involuntary part-time work to a record high of 1.38 million.

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The proportion of women working part-time that don’t want a full-time job, often because of family and caring responsibilities, has been falling. This shows that the recent rise in part-time employment has mainly come about through necessity rather than choice, says the TUC.

People living in the East of England have experienced the sharpest increase in under-employment over the last four years, with the number of men trapped in part-time jobs more than trebling to reach 58,385. The North East, Northern Ireland and London have also experienced sharp increases in involuntary part-time work.

The number of women trapped in involuntary part-time work has more than doubled in Northern Ireland and London since December 2007.

The TUC analysis suggests that there is a link between rising under-employment and rising overall unemployment, with the North East and Northern Ireland struggling on both measures.

The findings come ahead of the latest unemployment figures published tomorrow (Wednesday), which the TUC hopes will show another fall in unemployment.

However while overall unemployment fell last month, so too did the number of people in full-time work. While part-time or temporary jobs may be better than no work at all, people are having to make huge salary sacrifices, reduce their hours and trade down their skills to stay in work. This is bad news for family finances and the UK’s overall economic performance as people are not working as much and as productively as could do, says the TUC.

TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: “Last month’s fall in unemployment was a welcome surprise. No-one should be under any illusion however that the jobs crisis is over.

“Virtually all employment growth is coming from part-time and temporary jobs but most of the people taking them want and need permanent, full-time work.

“Any job may be better than no job at all but people are having to make huge salary sacrifices to stay working. This is bad news for family finances and it is holding back our economy.

“Any hope of an economic recovery that benefits everyone rests on the growth of well-paid, skilled, full-time jobs. It is the only way for people to increase their incomes and get back to working to the best of their ability.

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