UK ‘explosion’ in insecure work since 2011 - TUC report

The UK has seen an “explosion” in insecure, low-paid work in the past 14 years, according to a new report.

The TUC said its study had found that the number of people in insecure work had reached a record high of 4.1 million.

The analysis of official statistics shows the number of people in “precarious” employment – such as zero-hours contracts, low-paid self-employment and casual or seasonal work – increased by nearly 1 million between 2011 and 2023.

Over that period, the amount of insecure work had risen nearly three times faster than secure forms of employment, said the union organisation, which estimates that one in eight workers in the UK are now in precarious employment. The growth in insecure work since 2011 has been fuelled mainly by lower-paid sectors of the economy, said the report.

The TUC said the huge rise in insecure and low-paid work highlighted the need for boosting workers’ rights and making work pay.

Its general secretary, Paul Nowak, said: “We need a government that will make work pay, but over the last 14 years we have seen an explosion in insecure, low-paid work.

“The UK’s long experiment with a low-rights, low-wage economy has been terrible for growth, productivity and living standards. Real wages are still worth less than in 2008, and across the country people are trapped in jobs that offer little or no security.”

The Guardian