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Job figures mask casualisation
For real jobs, not 'gig economy'
Pete Offord, Lewisham Socialist Party
Unemployment levels are at their lowest for eleven years, according to the Office for National Statistics. You might be forgiven for thinking that the economy had turned a corner.
However, when you scrape below the surface of the headlines, then for ordinary people there is little to celebrate. The figures are propped up by a big rise in often bogus self-employment, now 15% of the total UK workforce.
Most of these workers are living on a knife's edge. 50% of them take home less than half the national average. This is part of an explosion in casual labour. The Guardian estimates around seven million are now in precarious employment - including self-employed, temporary and zero-hour contract workers.
These jobs have the lowest levels of employment rights, and are no longer confined to the 'McJobs' of the fast food industry. Within higher education, over 50% of teaching staff are now on temporary or casual contracts.
Meanwhile, the recruitment agencies supplying much of this cheap labour have found ever more inventive ways to profit from the misery of others. Large agencies are exploiting a loophole which allows them to collect employment allowances designed to help small businesses, avoiding tax and national insurance.
The Socialist Party welcomes these victories. We fight for an end to the gig economy, and decent hours, pay and conditions for all. Nationalise the tax dodgers and invest in jobs and services for everyone.
Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777
Email: [email protected]
Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206
Regional Socialist Party organisers:
Eastern: 079 8202 1969
East Mids: 077 3797 8057
London: 075 4018 9052
North East: 078 4114 4890
North West 079 5437 6096
South West: 077 5979 6478
Southern: 078 3368 1910
Wales: 077 7221 5281
West Mids: 024 7655 5620
Yorkshire: 078 0983 9793