Underemployment at 9%

Underemployment is at 9%, according to a report which tracks those who are working fewer hours than they want to.

Underemployment is at 9%, according to a report which tracks those who are working fewer hours than they want to.

The BellBlanchflower statistics on underemployment show that for the last quarter of 2013, underemployment had fallen from a high of 10.35% at the end of 2011, but is still higher than unemployment. Figures out today from the Office for National Statistics also show that the UK economy has grown by 0.8% in first quarter of 2014, the fifth consecutive quarter of growth.

Underemployment affects workers who would like to work longer hours than those for which their employer currently hires them; it is measured by the number of hours that they would like to work over and above those that they actually do work. 

Geraint Johnes, director at The Work Foundation, said:  “The latest underemployment rate of 9% shows that, despite the recovery, the labour market has still not adjusted back to what we once thought of as normal. Prior to the recession, there was very little underemployment amongst those in work but that is not the case at present, with it adding the equivalent of almost two percentage-points to the official unemployment rate. 

“The economy is showing some very encouraging signs but the nature of this recovery appears to be far more nuanced than usual. While the overall unemployment rate is falling, it may not reveal the full picture of the labour market. There already appears to be some evidence of job insecurity leading to larger numbers of people working unpaid overtime, of a rising trend in self-employment – where people opt for this path in the absence of others – and of underemployment especially prevalent amongst the young where the rate is now at 28.3%."





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