Workers take more hours as economy grows

Tim Wallace
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BRITAIN’S economic recovery is taking more workers out of under­employment in the latest sign that employees are bene­fiting from the rebound, official data showed yesterday.

Unemployment has dived rapidly this year, and the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has indicated the quality of that work is also improving.

A worker is classed as under­employed if he or she works fewer than 48 hours per week, and wants to take more hours.

The proportion who are under­employed fell to 9.9 per cent in the three months from April to June – down from 10.5 per cent in the previous three months, and the lowest level in three years.

However, in the pre-crash years the underemployment rate stood below seven per cent, so the damage of the financial crisis has not been entirely unwound yet.

The north east has the highest underemployment rate at 11.5 per cent, while the east of England has the lowest level at 9.2 per cent.

London is in the middle at 10 per cent.

Meanwhile, the ONS also found 9.9 per cent of workers are over­employed – that is, they would prefer to work fewer hours and take less money home.