27th April 2015
New data published this week by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union (EU), has placed the UK in 23rd place out of 28 for its record on underemployment.
The figures, which show that the UK underemployment rate was 31% higher than the EU average in 2014, are a sign of the government’s failure to create the decent jobs people need, says the Trade Union Congress (TUC).
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said the figures showed “what a bad time British people are having at work compared with their European neighbours”.
He said: “We have a fragile recovery built on pumped-up house prices, instead of the strong foundation of good quality jobs with decent hours and wages. The current approach just isn’t delivering enough high quality jobs to meet demand and it’s leaving too many families struggling to get by on scraps of work.”
The TUC believes that the Eurostat data reinforces the findings of its own analysis, on short-hours contracts. The analysis found that in addition to the 700,000 workers who report being on zero-hours contracts, there are another 820,000 UK employees who report being underemployed on between 0 and 19 hours a week.