Belfast Telegraph

Number forced to work part-time in Northern Ireland doubles

By Alan Jones and Margaret Canning

The number of Northern Ireland people working part-time because they cannot find full-time work has more than doubled over a four-year period, according to a new study.

The TUC's analysis of official figures found there were 38,767 people in Northern Ireland in involuntary part-time work in the last three months of 2011 - up from 18,541 in 2007.

The report, published ahead of tomorrow's unemployment figures, showed the numbers of women working in involuntary part-time work jumped from 10,664 to 23,246 during that time.

Across the UK 1.4m workers and self-employed people work part-time because they cannot find full-time employment, the highest figure since records began in 1992. Almost 600,000 men were working part-time in December while looking for full-time positions, compared to 293,000 at the end of 2007.

People living in the east of England have been hit by the biggest increase in under-employment over the past four years, with the number of men "trapped" in part-time jobs more than trebling to almost 60,000, said the TUC.

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: "Last month's fall in unemployment was a welcome surprise. No-one should be under any illusion however that the jobs crisis is over.

"Virtually all employment growth is coming from part-time and temporary jobs but most of the people taking them want and need permanent, full-time work.

"Any job may be better than no job at all but people are having to make huge salary sacrifices to stay working. This is bad news for family finances and it is holding back our economy.

"Any hope of an economic recovery that benefits everyone rests on the growth of well-paid, skilled, full-time jobs. It is the only way for people to increase their incomes and get back to working to the best of their ability."

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