Under-employment ‘a key cause of financial worry’

High unemployment is not alone in increasing financial hardship, with many in work but under-employed.

This issue has been highlighted by…

High unemployment is not alone in increasing financial hardship, with many in work but under-employed.

This issue has been highlighted by the Trades Union Congress (TUC) which has unveiled figures showing that the number of men who are only working part time because they cannot get a full time job has risen from 293,000 in December 2007 to almost 600,000 in the same month in 2011.

Such a situation will mean many people have lower incomes and for those in debt, this could make it far harder to manage payments while dealing with other bills and the rising cost of living.

Women are also suffering, with a 74 per cent rise in underemployment during the four-year period to 780,000, which means the tally of people who are only working part time stood at a record 1.38 million at the end of last year.

Andrew Smith of Cleardebt noted that male under-employment is a particular problem for hard-pressed families, explaining: "This is exacerbated by fact women are still generally paid less and that families with children often rely on male partner for the main income."

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber also expressed concern about the financial impact on families of lower incomes caused by less work.

He said: "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."

One solution for those struggling to pay debt in such circumstances could be a debt management plan, as this can spread out repayments more.

Those hoping for improved job prospects in the near future may have some time to wait, as the Confederation of British Industry recently predicted the jobless total will peak at 2.86 million early next year, before renewed economic growth starts to improve the situation.

By James Francis

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