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Professor Geraint Johnes

Latest statistics reveal a hidden two percent are now underemployed

Authors: Professor Geraint Johnes Angelo Evangelou

29 April 2014

Commenting on today's BellBlanchflower statistics on underemployment, Geraint Johnes, director at The Work Foundation, said:

“The latest underemployment rate of 9% shows that, despite the recovery, the labour market has still not adjusted back to what we once thought of as normal. Prior to the recession, there was very little underemployment amongst those in work but that is not the case at present, with it adding the equivalent of almost two percentage-points to the official unemployment rate.

“The economy is showing some very encouraging signs but the nature of this recovery appears to be far more nuanced than usual. While the overall unemployment rate is falling, it may not reveal the full picture of the labour market. There already appears to be some evidence of job insecurity leading to larger numbers of people working unpaid overtime, of a rising trend in self-employment - where people opt for this path in the absence of others - and of underemployment especially prevalent amongst the young where the rate is now at 28.3%.”


Notes to editors

1. Geraint Johnes, director is available for interviews, briefings, analysis, and written comments.

2. The BellBlanchflower data will be published each quarter by The Work Foundation here and adjusts the unemployment rate statistics to allow for underemployment. It is developed by Professor David N.F. Bell and Professor David G. Blanchflower.

3. Underemployment affects workers who would like to work longer hours than those for which their employer currently hires them; it is measured by the number of hours that they would like to work over and above those that they actually do work.

4. The Work Foundation aims to be the leading independent, international authority on work and its future, influencing policy and practice for the benefit of society. The Work Foundation is part of Lancaster University – an alliance that enables both organisations to further enhance their impact.

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