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Under employment now worst on record

Cameron smashes through grim 1992 levels set by Major

Prime Minister David Cameron has smashed through the under employment record set by his Tory predecessor John Major, official figures revealed yesterday.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said another 24,000 people in part-time jobs joined the queue for full-time work between July and September.

That took total under-employment to 1.46 million - the highest figure since records began in 1992, when unpopular Mr Major led Britain's last Tory government.

TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady said the figures showed Britain's workforce is getting larger but poorer.

She said: "We need better jobs and healthier pay rises to tackle to the living standards crisis and ensure that the full benefits of recovery reach working people."

And Unison leader Dave Prentis said the number of people stuck with part-time wages is "not a good omen for getting the economy back on its feet."

Mr Cameron dodged his inconvenient record to herald an overall rise in employment of 177,000 as "proof our long-term plan for Britain is working."

Tory Employment Minister Esther McVey said the growth is down to a rise in the number of private-sector jobs.

"This government is delivering on its promise to rebalance the economy, promote job creation and support people to get off benefits and into work," she said.

But Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said headline figures mask "an economic landscape which is dominated by part-time employment and low wages."

An independent survey of 3,940 Unite members found that workers suffered an average drop of £129 in their monthly disposable income since May.

Mr McCluskey said the crisis had left "thousands of families living a hand-to-mouth existence and relying on payday lenders to get by each month."

The GMB union also pointed out that 2.4m people remain completely locked out of work in Britain.

General secretary Paul Kenny said: "In the last few weeks alone GMB members making steel, glass, rubber and ships have lost jobs on a large scale due to lack of demand for what they make."

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