Showing posts with label underemployment. Show all posts
Showing posts with label underemployment. Show all posts

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Part time job - full time poverty

Citizens Advice Scotland warned that the number of people in part-time work is pushing many to the brink of poverty.

Norma Philpott, chief executive officer of Citizens Advice and Rights Fife, said: “We are increasingly seeing people who are struggling to make ends meet because they can’t find work with enough hours. The rise in the number of people coming to us for help accessing food banks and the proportion of people turning to payday loans shows that many people who can only find part time work are being pushed into poverty.”

Monday, January 21, 2013

Deprived Scotland

A boy born in the most deprived 10 per cent of Scotland would have a life expectancy of just 68. That is eight years younger than the national average, and 14 years below boys born in the least deprived parts of the country.

 Rates of mortality for heart disease are twice as high in deprived areas, at 100 per 100,000 under-75s, compared with the national average. Cancer mortality rates are 50 per cent higher in poorer areas, at 200 per 100,000.

The number of Scots aged under 25 who are out of work has doubled to 90,000 since 2008, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation said.

The report also highlighted the rise in part-time employment, from 70,000 in 2008, when the economic crisis hit, to 120,000 now.

The Scottish Government insisted Westminster benefit cuts were the biggest threat when it came to poverty and inequality. Julia Unwin, chief executive of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, said: “The Scottish Government has powers to do a lot now. They don’t need to wait for constitutional change."

Monday, January 07, 2013

Working less - earning less

Professor David Bell, an economic expert, warned MSPs that soaring numbers of Scots have been forced into “under-employment”  and a seismic shift away from full-time to part-time work and the disappearance of overtime have created a culture in which Scots’ lack of work is forcing them to cut back on household spending. Prof Bell’s report to the economy committee revealed the extend of “disguised unemployment” and the new phenomenon of “in-work poverty”.

About half a million Scots are now feared to be either out of work or under-employed. The number of part-time workers, including those who are self-employed, has risen by 74,000 since 2008, alongside a dramatic fall in the hours worked by full-time staff. The under-employment rate stands at over 10 per cent among Scots, with the academic finding there is not enough demand for the labour they are willing to supply. “The ‘Great Recession’ has had an adverse impact on the Scottish labour market,” said the report.

The jobless rise has been less then expected, but there has been a sharp fall in the number of hours that Scots are now working overall. The report says: “Amongst the full-time employed, there has been a reduction in their number and in their average weekly hours, partly as a result of reduced overtime working. “In contrast, there has been an increase in part-time working, though little change in their average weekly hours. “There has also been a trend towards self-employment, particularly part-time self-employment, where weekly hours are extremely low.” Scots struggling in this situation will not show up in official unemployment statistics, because they remain in work.

Margaret Lynch, chief executive of Citizens Advice Scotland, said: “We know that thousands of Scots can’t get work at all, but far too many of those who are in work are struggling in low-paid, temporary and unsatisfying jobs which don’t meet either their aspirations or their bills." She added: “Many people who are under-employed have to top up their income by borrowing, and often turn to high-interest lenders like payday loans, which they can’t repay and which gets them into a spiral of crisis debt.”

Dr James McCormick, Scotland adviser to poverty charity the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, said “What we see now is a significant risk of what we would term ‘in-work poverty’. This is people who are working, they may be doing less then 20 hours a week, but even if they are on a decent hourly rate of pay, they may still find themselves below the poverty threshold, because they’re not working sufficient hours.” Low pay remains a “persistent problem”, Dr McCormick said, and the combination of factors leads to a situation of “disguised unemployment”.

Another report reveals that Scots workers spend £2,000 a year on job-related costs such as food, travel, childcare, equipment and clothes. The average British worker spends one pound from every eight of their disposable income on costs relating to their job.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


According to the TUC, about 270,000, or more than one in 10, Scottish workers are underemployed. That represents a 39% jump in the underemployment level in four years.

One view is that half a job is better than none. It keeps down the unemployment figures as workers accept part-time contracts in preference to redundancy and the unemployed take part-time work because it is all that is on offer.

Since last April low-income households have only qualified for tax credits (which are worth up to £3870 a year), if they jointly work 24 hours a week, with one partner working at least 16. Before April one partner working 16 hours was enough to qualify. The households caught in this trap are desperate for more hours but, in a tight labour market, they have difficulty getting them.