Responding to today’s labour market figures, Unite, Britain’s largest union warned of a part-time, low wage economic recovery that was passing people by.
Average earnings, including bonuses, increased by just 0.7 per cent in the year to August, up by 0.1 percentage point on the previous month, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics.
Self-employment now makes up almost 15 per cent of total employment in the UK, 279,000 higher than a year ago, while part-time work has reached a record high of 6.8 million.
Commenting, Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: “The continued fall in unemployment is welcome, but scratch the surface and today’s figures reveal an economic recovery that is passing people by as the wage siege continues and the world of work becomes more insecure.
“This is a part time recovery built on the back of low wages and an explosion of self-employment which is leaving millions in an employment limbo land, without rights, security or guaranteed income. The government needs to look at this phenomenon and honestly assess what it means for the nation.
“This Tory-led government also needs to face up to the fact that people have seen their incomes drop in real terms by a staggering £1,600 a year on their watch, forcing families to choose between heating and eating this winter.
“This is not the basis for a sustainable recovery. Britain needs a pay rise and an economic recovery that benefits the majority and an economy built on secure, decent paid jobs.”
For further information please contact Unite head of media and campaigns Alex Flynn on 020 3371 2066 or 07967 665869.
Notes to editors
Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.