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The ‘under-employed’ are the hidden victims of the recession

New figures out today show a shocking rise in the numbers of people who are working fewer hours than they feel they need to.

According to figures released by the TUC, the number of ‘under-employed’ people in the UK is now at a record high of 1.38 million – an increase of 86% since 2007. In Scotland the number is 120,159 – an increase of 78% over the same period.

These people often face huge financial pressures, and yet they are not included in the official unemployment figures.

Citizens Advice Scotland’s spokesman Keith Dryburgh says:

“There have always been people who are in this position – forced to work part-time because of the lack of full-time jobs. But the extent of these figures is quite shocking. And the problem is clearly getting worse.

“Every one of these people is someone who is finding it harder than they should just to get by. Earning less than they need as the cost of living rises, they are struggling to keep their home, pay their bills, put food on the table, and meet all of the other basic aspects of life.

“These are very often the people we see in the CAB, who get into debt or are living in fuel poverty. In many cases they are also suffering stress and psychological problems, because they feel un-fulfilled and frustrated that they are not able to live the life they want to live, and make the contribution they want to make.

“And yet they don’t show up in the official unemployment figures. As they are technically ‘in work’, they are considered to be doing OK. This is a large and growing group of people who are the hidden victims of the recession.”