High levels of underemployment still remain
Our recent analysis shows that underemployment (people who have fewer hours of work than they want) remains nearly a million higher than before the recession.
The findings come ahead of new unemployment data to be published this week, which are expected to show that while the headline rate of employment may be continuing to improve, a full recovery for underemployment is still stuck in the slow lane.
To make a more honest assessment of the state of the UK’s jobs market requires far wider measures of labour market weakness to be taken into account than simply the headline employment and unemployment rates. The TUC analysis looks at the true scale of the underemployment problem. It looks at how many workers across the economy want more hours in their existing jobs as well as the regularly published measure of the number of workers in part-time jobs who want to work full-time.
There were 2.3 million people underemployed in early 2008, however underemployment rose rapidly following the recession and reached 3.4 million in early 2014. It has fallen slowly in the last year to reach just under 3.3 million in early 2015; this is still over 900,000 higher than it was before the recession.
Underemployment levels 2008-2015