THE true face of unemployment in the North East is revealed by new figures, campaigners claim.
The North East TUC says thousands of workers in the region are “under-employed” – doing part-time jobs because they can’t find full-time ones or not working enough hours in their main job.
Academics from Sheffield Hallam University say new research shows many more people in the region are out of work than indicated by the official figures, with unemployed people encouraged onto incapacity benefits.
Across Sunderland, research reveals 12.7 per cent of the working-age population is unemployed – just 5.7 per cent are listed as being on Jobseeker’s Allowance.
In Durham City, 6.6 per cent are unemployed, with 2.9 per cent on Jobseeker’s Allowance.
The TUC said more than one in 10 workers in the UK is under-employed, though the likelihood of being affected varies by age, gender and job sector. Women are more likely to be under-employed than men and young people are almost twice as likely to be under-employed as any other age group.
TUC regional secretary Kevin Rowan said “These damning statistics reveal the grim truth behind the Government’s jobs figures.
“A staggering 132,000 people in our region are in sufficient work to take them off Jobseeker’s Allowance, but not enough to provide the full-time hours they want and need.”
Prof Steve Fothergill, who led the project, said: “We have a series of unemployment figures – one is the level of those claiming unemployment benefits, and there’s a further figure of those who claim other benefits, but over and above that, we have seen how people are diverted onto incapacity benefit.”