The quality of jobs, including pay rates, has fallen to a near 20-year low amid record levels of under-employment and the longest real wage squeeze in over a century, the TUC has claimed.
The union organisation’s job quality index, published ahead of the latest unemployment figures, tracks pay rises against the rising cost of living and the number of people who cannot find enough hours in their current job – and shows that the link between rising employment and increasing job quality has broken down.
While the employment rate is back to its 2009 level, job quality has remained close to a 20-year low, said the TUC, which voiced concern about the quality of jobs being created.
With under-employment at a record high of 1.45 million and workers suffering the longest real wage squeeze in over a century, the TUC said many people were feeling little or no benefit from the economic recovery.
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “A growing economy is supposed to improve people’s living standards through better jobs and higher wages. But too few workers have felt these benefits during the recent recovery.
“Job creation – whatever the quality – is better than rising unemployment. But for too many people, this simply means moving from the hardship of unemployment into working poverty.”
A separate report by the IPPR think tank said the link between youth unemployment and economic growth in the UK, and across Europe, had been broken.
An analysis of official figures in the UK showed that while adult unemployment had fallen over the past year, youth unemployment had continued to rise.
The report showed young people in the UK who do not work during their studies are almost 9% more likely to be unemployed afterwards.