The Recovery From The 2008 / 09 Recession

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1. Introduction The recovery from the 2008/09 recessions though weak has seen increases in headline employment, implying that the labour market recovery is quite impressive and unanticipated considering the slower recovery in output. Trends in underemployment, self-employment, youth-unemployment (caused by displacement effect ) and insecure forms of working (zero-hour contracts1) have been obscured by headline statistic (Boyd, 2014). This is so because employers rather than lay-off workers decide to fall wages and/or cut working hours (labour hoarding1), thereby resulting in deteriorating employment quality and decreased economic security of jobs. This culminates in underemployment, leaving unemployment relatively constant with falling…show more content…
2. Underemployment and its three aspects Hours Based Underemployment This aspect is described as “hours-constrained” underemployment in which people desire to work for more hours but are unable to. Figure 2.1: UK Time-related underemployment rate (%) Own Computations Data: International Labour Organization (2014) The figure shows that the number of people who are in employment but want to work more hours has risen markedly since the recession. This obviously includes part-time workers. Figure 2.2: Full-time and part-time workers (UK) 2012-2014 – seasonally adjusted Own Computations Data: International Labour Organization (2014) Year-on-year percentage change is positive for all categories with “self-employed people working part-time” showing the greatest increase at 7.9%, followed by “self-employed people working full-time” 6.1%. This obviously shows an increase in self-employment since recovery. What is clear from the figure above is that part-time workers have continued to increase marginally in post-recession UK. Figure 2.3: On year change (%) Own Computations Data: International Labour Organization (2014) A peculiar dimension of the hours-based underemployment is the increase in “zero-hours”
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