Involuntary Temporary Working Soars

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INVOLUNTARY temporary working is soaring in Britain, a labour force survey revealed yesterday, with involuntary temporary workers now outnumbering voluntary temporary workers by two to one.

The survey results give the lie to the Coalition’s claims of a ‘recovery’, the TUC said yesterday, ahead of tomorrow’s unemployment figures announcement.

The survey found that temporary working increased by 89,000 to reach 1,650,000 – nearly half (46 per cent) of the total rise in employment between December 2010 and December 2012.

The analysis shows that involuntary temporary work – people doing temp jobs because they cannot find permanent work – has been growing sharply for a number of years, increasing by 230,000 since 2005.

In 2005 the number of involuntary temporary workers (263,298) was broadly similar to the number of ‘voluntary’ temp workers who didn’t want a permanent job (243,703).

However, by the end of 2012 the number of involuntary temporary workers had more than doubled to 655,000, while the number of voluntary temporary workers has increased by 42 per cent to 345,000.

The TUC condemned the rise of involuntary and casual temporary work, along with increases in involuntary part-time work and zero-hours contracts.

Too many workers are not working enough hours to get by, or have no guarantee of paid work from one week to the next, said the TUC.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: ‘Millions of people have taken shorter hours, temp jobs and zero hours contracts in order to stay afloat during the recession and stagnation.

‘The fact that casualised labour continues to grow even during this “so-called” recovery suggests that the labour market is far more fragile than headline figures suggest.

‘Ministers need to acknowledge the problems of under-employment and insecure work, as it is eroding people’s living standards.

‘Cutting basic rights at work and making it easier for bad bosses to mistreat staff will only make things worse.’

Meanwhile, research from the Local Government Association (LGA) has found that four out of every five welfare recipients need help from their council to cope with the government’s new social security reforms.

TUC General Secretary O’Grady said: ‘The government has tried to sell its welfare reforms on the back of mistruths and nasty stereotypes. However, this research exposes what a devastating impact its policies are having on communities throughout the country.

‘Ministers are not cracking down on cheats as they claim, but destroying the safety net that our welfare state is meant to provide for those who fall on hard times through no fault of their own.

‘The government’s attack on social security provision is not only hurting those unable to find work.

‘Millions of working families are seeing an even bigger reduction in their financial support.’