Beth Farhat: The North East is still down on its pre-recession workforce

The share of jobs in the North East accounted for by full-time employees fell during the recession and has failed to recover across the region.

Beth Farhat of the TUC
Beth Farhat of the TUC

North East is lacking almost 20,000 full-time employee jobs compared to its pre-recession labour market.

The share of jobs in the North East accounted for by full-time employees fell during the recession and has failed to recover across the region.

TUC analysis shows that in the North East the labour market share of full-time employee jobs was 66.3% in 2007 but fell to 64.6% in 2014. This is equivalent to a shortfall of almost 20,000 full-time employee jobs.

The Northern TUC believes that both part-time work and self-employment are important options for many people. However, despite recent economic growth, the number of part-time employees across the UK who say they want full-time hours – 1.3m people – is still twice what it was before the recession.

We believe that the rise in self-employment is at least in part a result of people being unable to find employee jobs or being forced into false self-employment – used by some companies to evade taxes and avoid respecting employment rights and entitlements such as holiday pay, sick pay and pensions.

Today the TUC launches its Decent Jobs campaign to draw attention to the millions of people in the UK who are trapped in low-paid and insecure jobs. They include more than 1.4m zero-hours contracts in use, as well as agency and other casual workers who – due to the temporary nature of their employment – often lose out on basic rights at work.

We are campaigning for:

* Improved rights for zero hours workers

* The same decent employment rights for all

* Equal pay for agency workers

* Better enforcement of workplace rights for low paid vulnerable workers

* Better access for all workers to union representation and collective bargaining

The campaign will raise awareness of the millions of workers in the UK who are trapped in low paid, insecure jobs and who are failing to benefit from the recovery.

It will also highlight the growing casualisation amongst professions such as lecturers, teachers, health workers and the entertainment sector, as well as the recent union campaign and bargaining successes for those in insecure employment.

The Chancellor has said he wants full employment for the UK economy, but that means full-time jobs for everyone who wants them. At the moment there are still not enough full-time employee jobs being created in the North East to meet demand.

Beth Farhat, Regional Secretary Northern Region

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