Britain’s largest union, Unite cautioned government ministers against ‘popping out the champagne’ today (Wednesday 16 December) as it warned the fall in unemployment masked a continued rise in self-employment and low paid, insecure, part-time work.
While welcoming the fall in unemployment in today’s labour market figures, Unite pointed to figures showing a rise to 35 per cent in the number of people in temporary jobs because they couldn’t get permanent work and a continued increase in the proportion of people in self-employment to nearly 15 per cent.
Commenting Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: “Any fall in unemployment is welcome, but now is not the time for ministers to popping the champagne corks.
“The continued rise of insecure self-employment and part-time work, coupled with the slowing down in an already painful and slow recovery in wages, means that too many in the workforce will be struggling to get by this Christmas.
“We are seeing a re-balancing of the economy away from decent secure jobs to a world where people are increasingly being employed in low paid, insecure work, desperate for the security of a permanent job.
“Ministers need to put the bubbly on ice. With foodbanks bracing themselves for their heaviest demand ever this winter, David Cameron and George Osborne need to recognise that not all is well in the economy.”
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.