Independent analysis of figures from The Office of National Statistics has revealed that over 80% of new jobs created in Scotland since the Coalition came to power have been in low paid industries such as cleaning, hairdressing and residential care.
The figures confirm previous assertions about the quality of work that have questioned the UK Government’s assertions on employment figures that show a recovery in the economy. The ONS estimates that as many as 60,000 people in Scotland have zero-hour contracts, though unions believe that the figure could be a lot higher.
While there are now 27,000 more jobs in Scotland, the vast majority are in sectors which have been identified by the Low Pay Commission as areas of concern due to low pay.
The news has been criticised by Labour who accuse the UK Government of “standing up for the wrong people”, however David Mundell, Scotland Office Minister said that 107 new jobs a day had been created in Scotland in the last five years.
If that were to be the case then 195,275 new jobs would have been created. With just 27,000 more jobs than in 2010, this suggests that 168,275 jobs have been lost over the same period – around 92 a day.
In-work poverty in Scotland now affects more people than those living in households where nobody works. Many of the new jobs created will earn less that the Living Wage, which campaigners say is the minimum required to meet the basic cost of living. The Living Wage is now £7.85 an hour outside London, while the minimum wage is currently £6.50 for adults aged 21 and over, £5.13 for 18-20 year olds and £3.79 for 16/17 year olds.
The Low Pay Commission is recommending that the Minimum Wage rises by 3% from October 2015 and while welcome, this is considerably below the Living Wage rate.
Source: The Herald