Number of part-time workers soars to one million

Figures from think-tank the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) show record numbers of people are working part-time because they can’t find full-time work, with the numbers of women forced to go part-time rising by almost half since the recession started.
According to the findings, there has been a 45% rise in the number of people working part-time since the start of the recession. The figures also show that there has been a 40% rise in the number of workers taking temporary jobs because they have failed to find permanent work.
The analysis shows that the number of women in part-time work who can’t find full-time work has risen by almost half (46%).
The IPPR says that offering flexible full-time work could help people with childcare or other responsibilities to take up the full-time work that is available, lifting them out of underemployment.
The think-tank concludes that the spike in part-time and temporary workers means there are an estimated 2.8 million ‘underemployed’ people who are unable to earn enough money or find secure employment. It puts the cost of those in part-time work who are unable to secure full-time work at some £9bn in terms of lost earnings and benefits.
Lisa Harker, co-director of the IPPR, said: “While many people want to work part time for family or other reasons, the IPPR’s analysis and research show that a growing number of people are trapped in insecure work or unable to work enough hours to earn a decent income.”
Sales and customer services were the sectors part-time workers most struggled to find permanent employment in, while temporary workers had difficulty finding full-time work in admin and secretarial roles.
Official figures released today by the Office for National Statistics shows that the number of unemployed people increased by 53,000 over the quarter to reach 2.51 million, the highest figure since the three months to December 1994.

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