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«25 November 2014 Underemployment and Overemployment in the UK, 2014 Coverage: UK Date: 25 November 2014 Geographical Areas: Region, UK Theme: Labour ...»

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25 November 2014

Underemployment and Overemployment

in the UK, 2014

Coverage: UK

Date: 25 November 2014

Geographical Areas: Region, UK

Theme: Labour Market

Key Points

• In 2014, just under 1 in 10, or 3.0 million people, employed in the UK wanted to work more hours

than they are currently employed to do and are therefore classified as underemployed.

• On average each underemployed worker would like to work an extra 11.3 hours per week.

• Over 1 in 5 people working in elementary occupations were underemployed in 2014.

• In 2014, over 1 in 5 part time workers were underemployed compared with around 1 in 20 of full time workers.

• The North East had the highest percentage of underemployed workers in Great Britain.

• In 2014, just under 1 in 10 workers in the UK would like to work fewer hours for less pay, and are therefore classified as overemployed.

• On average, in 2014, each overemployed worker would like to work 11.2 fewer hours than they currently do.

• In 2014, 13.9% of workers in Professional Occupations were overemployed.

• The South West had the highest percentage of overemployed workers in Great Britain.

Underemployment Introduction The percentage of people aged 16-64 in the UK in employment has been increasing since April to June 2013. To provide more information on the current state of the UK labour market this article will investigate the number of people who either want to work more hours, or less hours, than they are currently employed to do. This will provide a broader picture of the labour market as it will show whether workers in the UK are working the amount of hours that they would like to work, or whether they are underemployed or overemployed.

In 2014, just under 1 in 10 people employed in the UK wanted to work more hours In April to June 2014, 9.9%, or 3.0 million, of those employed in the UK were underemployed.

Underemployed workers are those people in employment who are willing to work more hours, either Office for National Statistics | 1 25 November 2014 by working in an additional job, by working more hours in their current job, or by switching to a replacement job. They must also be available to start working longer hours within two weeks and their current weekly hours must be below 40 hours if they are between 16 and 18 and below 48 hours if they are over 18.

Underemployment rates, 2000 to 2014, UK Source: Labour Force Survey - Office for National Statistics Download chart XLS format (39.5 Kb) Following the economic downturn in 2008/09 there was an increase in the percentage of the UK workforce that was identified as underemployed. In 2008, 7.1%, or 2.1 million, of those in work in the UK were underemployed and this increased to a peak of 10.8% seen between Q3 2012 and Q1 2013. Since then the underemployment rate has been decreasing and is now at the same percentage it was in July to September 2009, although it remains 2.8 percentage points above its level prior to the economic downturn.

78% of underemployed workers want more hours in their current job

–  –  –

In 2014, 78.0% of workers in the UK who were underemployed wanted to work more hours in their current job. This will include a range of people, from those who actively asked their employer for more hours to those who would merely prefer longer hours if given the opportunity. A further 13.4% want a replacement job with longer hours and 8.6% want an additional job to provide them with the extra hours they desired.

Underemployed by where workers want more hours and average number of hours each underemployed worker wanted to work, 2014, UK Source: Labour Force Survey - Office for National Statistics

11.3 hours per week was the average number of hours extra an underemployed worker wanted to work In 2014, on average each underemployed worker wanted to work an additional 11.3 hours per week, which equates to 33.5 million hours per week for all those underemployed in the UK. The total weekly hours of all those employed in the UK was 985 million hours, therefore the 33.5 million hours desired by all underemployed workers equates to 3.4% of the total hours worked in the UK.

Office for National Statistics | 3 25 November 2014 The number of extra hours desired by underemployed workers has increased slightly over the last six years. In 2008, the 2.1 million underemployed wanted on average 10.2 extra hours of work so there has been an increase of around an extra hour desired per worker since the downturn. This means that the total number of hours desired by those underemployed has increased from 21.2 million hours to 33.5 million hours.

In 2014, over 1 in 5 part time workers were underemployed compared with around 1 in 20 of full time workers In all 1.8 million, or 22.1%, of all part time workers in the UK were underemployed in 2014, compared with just 5.4%, or 1.2 million, of full time workers. The percentage of full time workers who were underemployed is much lower than that of part time underemployed workers since there are more full time workers than part time workers in the UK.

In order to be classified as an underemployed full time worker an individual must be working 30 hours or more per week and be within the constraints on working hours used to identify underemployment.





Following the economic downturn the percentage of part time workers who were underemployed rose from 15.9%, in 2008, to a peak of 24.4% in July to September 2012 before it started to decline from July to September 2013 to the current rate of 22.1% in 2014, still 6.2 percentage points, or 620,000 workers, higher than in 2008. Full time workers saw an increase since the economic downturn of around 1.2 percentage points since 2008, an increase of 274,000 workers.

–  –  –

Over 1 in 5 people working in Elementary Occupations were underemployed in 2014 In 2014, 21.1% of people who worked in Elementary Occupations were underemployed, making this the occupation group with the highest percentage of underemployed workers. This occupation grouping includes roles in elementary personal service, elementary cleaning and elementary security occupations. All three of these specific occupations have over 19% of their work force classifying themselves as underemployed.

The occupation grouping with the second highest percentage of underemployed workers was Sales and Customer Service Occupations where 18.7% of workers in these types of jobs were underemployed, and most notably in the sub category of Sales Assistants and Retail Cashiers where 22.9% of workers were underemployed.

–  –  –

Since 2008 all of the major occupation groupings have seen an increase in the percentage of workers who are underemployed with the largest increase, of 7.0 percentage points, for those working in Elementary Occupations.

Around 1 in 5 workers aged 16 to 24 were underemployed, more than double the percentage of any other age group In 2014, 19.6% of people in work aged between 16 and 24 were underemployed, which was more than double the percentage of any other age group. As age increases the percentage of workers who were underemployed decreases. Those aged 25-34 had the second highest percentage of underemployed workers with 9.6%, followed by those aged 35-49 where 9.0% of workers were underemployed. Workers aged 50-64 saw an underemployment percentage of 7.6% and the oldest age group of 65 and over saw an underemployment percentage of 4.6%.

–  –  –

Underemployed workers by age groups, 2000 to 2014, UK.

Source: Labour Force Survey - Office for National Statistics Focusing on those underemployed and aged 16-24, 32.7% of workers in this age group worked in elementary occupations and a further 27.7% worked in sales and customer service occupations.

The most common occupation for underemployed workers aged 16-24 was sales assistants and retail cashiers where there were 164,000 underemployed workers, which equates to 48.6% of workers of this age in this occupation. The second most common occupation was other elementary service occupations, including waiters, waitresses, bar staff and kitchen and catering assistants with

–  –  –

146,000 underemployed workers in this age group which equates to 53.3% of workers of this age in this occupation.

The percentage of self-employed workers who were underemployed increased faster than that of employees between 2008-10 The 2008/2009 downturn saw the percentage of self-employed workers who were underemployed increase much quicker than that for employees. In 2008, 6.3% of self-employed workers and 7.2% of employees were underemployed but by 2009 the percentage of underemployed self-employed workers had risen by 3.8 percentage points to 10.1% compared with a rise of 2.2 percentage points to 9.4% for underemployed employees.

In 2014, the percentage of self-employed workers and employees being underemployed was very similar, at 9.7%, or 441,000, and 9.9%, or 2.5 million, respectively.

Self employed workers and employees who were underemployed, 2000 to 2014, UK.

Source: Labour Force Survey - Office for National Statistics 11.0% of female workers were underemployed in 2014, compared with 8.9% of male workers In 2014, 11.0%, or 1.5 million, female workers were underemployed compared with 8.9%, or 1.4 million male workers. This may indicate that women are more likely to work in part time roles and a part time roles are where underemployment is more evident.

Underemployed workers by gender, 2008 & 2014, UK.

Source: Labour Force Survey - Office for National Statistics Both men and women have seen an increase in the percentage of underemployed workers since the start of the economic downturn in 2008 from 6.2% of males and 8.2% of females to 8.9% and 11.0% respectively in 2014.

The North East had the highest percentage of underemployed workers in Great Britain In 2013, 11.5% of workers in the North East were underemployed, the highest regional percentage in Great Britain. The North East was followed by Yorkshire and The Humber and the South West where 11.0% of their workforces were underemployed.

–  –  –

Underemployed workers in the regions of Great Britain, 2013.

Source: Annual Population Survey (APS) - Office for National Statistics The lowest percentage of underemployed workers was seen in the East of England where 9.2% of workers were underemployed. The results show that the percentage of workers who are underemployed does not vary too much by which area of Great Britain they are in.

All regions of Great Britain have seen an increase in the percentage of workers being underemployed since 2008. The largest increase of 3.7 percentage points was seen in the North East and the lowest increase of 2.0 percentage points was seen in Wales.

In 2014, Cyprus has the highest percentage of part time underemployed workers within the EU

–  –  –

Looking at the percentage of underemployed workers across EU countries is important to see how the UK fares in comparison. Eurostat data allows international comparisons of underemployment but only for part time workers. This reflects a slightly different definition of underemployment from the UK in that the EU definition states that an individual is underemployed if they are aged 15-74, are working part time and would like to work additional hours if available.

Using this definition of underemployment, Cyprus had the largest percentage of underemployed workers at 9.6%. For the UK, this percentage was 5.9%, a similar percentage to France, at 6.0%.

The average for the European Union was 4.6%.

Part time underemployed workers within the EU, 2014.

Source: Eurostat Looking at the change in the percentage of underemployed workers since the second quarter of 2008, the UK has seen a 1.9 percentage point increase, which compares with the European Union average of 1.2 percentage points. The highest increase has been seen in Cyprus where there has

–  –  –

been an increase of 7.7 percentage points, and the largest decrease was seen in Germany where there was a decrease of 2.5 percentage points.

The percentage difference, between 2008 and 2014, of part time underemployed workers within the EU.

Source: Eurostat Notes 1. 1. Table A01 from Labour Market Bulletin.

2. Note that all periods mentioned in this report are for the April to June quarter unless otherwise stated.

3. Taken from Table Hour01 from Labour Market Statistics Bulletin, August 2014 for the period April to June 2014.

–  –  –

4. Regional Analysis uses the Annual Population Survey Jan-Dec 2013 dataset.

Overemployment In 2014, just under 1 in 10 workers in the UK would like to work fewer hours for less pay In 2014, 9.7%, or 2.9 million, of workers in the UK were overemployed, meaning that they wanted to work fewer hours for less pay. This is very similar to the number of workers who were underemployed in 2014 as 3.0 million, or 9.9% of UK workers were underemployed. Over 9 in 10 of those workers who were overemployed wanted to work fewer hours for less pay in their current job, with the remaining workers wanting to work fewer hours for less pay in a new job.

Overemployment over time, 2000-2014, UK Source: Labour Force Survey - Office for National Statistics The percentage of those in work who were overemployed in 2014 (9.7%) was the same as it was in 2008 (9.7%). There was an increase in the percentage of overemployed workers throughout 2009 before it began to decrease again at the start of 2010. The percentage of overemployed workers has been increasing since the beginning of 2013. Over the longer term the percentage of workers being overemployed has been decreasing since late 2003 when it peaked at 11.5%, although the percentage has been increasing since April to June 2013.

On average, in 2014, each overemployed worker wanted to work 11.2 hours less per week than they currently employed to do In 2014, the average number of hours less that each overemployed worker wanted to work was 11.2 hours per week, which equates to 32.6 million hours per week for all those overemployed in the UK.



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