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The number of people working fewer hours than they desire remains nearly a million higher than before the financial crisis, the Trade Union Congress (TUC) claims.

An analysis by the TUC exposes the true crisis of underemployment in Britain today, revealing the shocking number of part-time workers who can’t find full-time jobs.

Underemployment has risen sharply since the recession, reaching a staggering 3.4 million in early 2014 – compared to 2.3 million in 2008.


Despite falling slightly in the last year to just under 3.3 million by early 2015, underemployment is still more than 900,000 higher than pre-recession levels.

TUC’s findings come ahead of the latest unemployment data, which will be published by the Office for National Statistics later this week. This is expected to show a continued improvement in the employment rate. However, the TUC warns that ‘too many poor quality jobs’ have left the issue of tackling underemployment ‘stuck in the slow lane’.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “The headline employment rate may have returned to its pre-recession level, but underemployment has barely recovered, so we are still a long way from a full jobs recovery.

“The government must address labour market failures that have left us with too many poor quality jobs, and not enough decent jobs with full-time hours.

“Full employment means not only making sure everyone can get a job, it also means making sure they have a full week’s work if they need it.

“The current economic plan is not delivering enough high quality full-time jobs for everyone who wants one. The Chancellor’s plans for extreme cuts in the Budget next month will not deliver the productivity gains we need for better jobs with more hours.

“A much better economic plan would set out a clear pathway to close the UK’s investment gap, so that we stop trailing other countries on the innovation needed to create more high quality full-time work.”



Last edited at 08:46 on 16 June 2015 to correct a grammatical error.