Burden of economic downturn taken by low paid

The lowest paid have taken the brunt of the downturn in the UK economy from 2007 to 2011, finds a TUC Touchstone Extra report, All In This Together. The rise in unemployment and falls in real wages have been concentrated among the lowest paid, while those at the very top have seen their pay increase. The report provides an in-depth examination of the impact of the downturn on the workforce. One of the principal effects has been job losses. Looking at the groups that have been most likely to lose their jobs, the report finds:

The rise in unemployment since 2007 has been sharper among men than among women but women’s jobs are increasingly at risk. The unemployment rate for men rose by 61 per cent between the second quarter of 2007 and the third quarter of 2011, while for women the rise was 50 per cent for the same period. Most of this disparity took place between 2008 and 2009; since then, female unemployment has started to rise more steeply as the cuts in public sector jobs start to make an impact.

Young workers has been the most vulnerable group of all. The number of unemployed under-25s now stands at 1.027 million, double the figure at the beginning of 2007.

Public sector jobs are being lost more quickly than those in the private sector. The public sector is now bearing the brunt of current job losses – at roughly twice the rate originally predicted – without, as yet, the growth in private sector jobs promised by the Coalition government to fill the gap.

The full report, All In This Together? is available on the TUC website.

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