On the eve of publication of the next set of labour market statistics for Scotland, the STUC has released an estimate of Scotland’s full-time employment deficit, which at 17.25%, is far in excess of the unemployment rate of 7.7%. On publication of this estimate, Grahame Smith, Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) General Secretary said:
“The shocking lack of quality full-time employment for Scotland’s citizens is revealed in this estimate we publish today. This dire situation reflects decades of political neglect and complacency and, unfortunately, there is little prospect of improvement anytime soon.
“STUC continues to be frustrated by the complacency of many politicians and policymakers on the current state of the labour market. Yes, unemployment is lower than might have been anticipated given the fall in output during the recession. However, this ignores the thousands of people who are currently underemployed or dismissed as economically inactive; people who need a full-time job to make ends meet but are currently unable to find one.
“Therefore, we have developed this new estimate which counts those people currently measured as being ILO unemployed, those who are inactive but recorded as wanting a job and those currently identified as ‘underemployed’. In making the calculation we have been careful to adjust figures to account for the recent tentative labour market recovery. We have for instance adjusted the number of unemployed people to match the proportion of full-time jobs in the economy; we are therefore convinced that this is a robust and conservative estimate.
“The figure of 468,301 a rate of 17.25% is stunning and should cause government at all levels to pause and reflect. There are simply far too many people in Scotland at this time unable to access the quality, full-time work opportunities necessary to provide for a decent standard of living for themselves and their families.
“Of course, the UK Government is continuing down the road of austerity, cutting jobs when they are most needed. There is little sign of hope for the half million people in Scotland who are unemployed, inactive or underemployed”.
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