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UK: Part-timers – the new trend to stop unemployment
A new report from the Office of National Statistics indicates that the problem of unemployment may be reducing as a result of more part-time and temporary workers entering the UK job market. The authors of the report write that the lack of new job offers when the economic crisis struck “forced some people to take work that did not meet their needs in terms of hours worked and earnings, and hence increased underemployment levels.”
The latest Labour Force Survey shows a year–on-year increase of 32% in the number of people working full-time on short-term temporary contracts who could not find a permanent job. Over the same period, there was a 35% increase in the number of part-time workers who could not find a permanent job.
The chief economic adviser from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, John Philpott, sees the trend continuing as “employers are keen to preserve skills and avoid the cost of redundancy.” At the same time, with working tax credit being given to poeple who work in excess of 16 hours a week for a minimum of four weeks, people have an incentive to take lower-paid part-time jobs. Under EU law, part-time workers are entitled to the same rates of pay and benefits as full-time workers.