One in ten South East workers want to work more hours

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Almost one in ten workers in the South East want to work more hours, new analysis of official job figures has revealed.

Research into the scale of ‘underemployment - the number of workers who want more hours - found that 9.5 per cent of South East employees want more working hours, rising to one in five for part-time workers.

The research, done by Reed in Partnership, which provides employment support, found that the gap between unemployment and underemployment is at its largest since 2000.

The report, entitled ‘The case for an in-work progression service’, says the Government is right to now focus on greater support for those in work not just those who are unemployed.

Martin Fallon, managing director of Reed in Partnership, said: “While the reduction in unemployment is a good news story, it can mask the fact that millions of people across the UK would like to work more hours.

“Part-time work suits many people, but too often people get trapped in low paid jobs and don’t know how to progress to more hours and a better salary.

“The Government is right to want to expand its in-work support.”

The Government intends to establish an in-work progression service, making the UK one of the first countries in the world to attempt a large scale programme to support low paid people to increase their earnings.

The report calls for the underemployment rate to be published alongside unemployment figures, alongside additional support with better careers guidance in schools and colleges and support for women returning to work including ‘wraparound’ childcare for older children.

Reed’s report suggests that 10.7 per cent of women are more likely to be looking for additional hours than men, at 8.4 per cent.

This is likely to be as a result of childcare responsibilities – women had lower underemployment in their early 20s, but this increases significantly in their 30s and 40s.

Young people aged 18 are four times more likely to want to work more hours than those aged 60.

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