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Number of underemployed in the UK hits 2.8 million

Despite the headline figures showing 2.6 million people are unemployed in UK, figures from the Office for National Statistics show that around 2.8 million people are also "underemployed" - working fewer hours than they want to. This is an increase of 700,000 underemployed from 2007 and is expected by many to increase in the short to medium term. Due to the very nature of the unemployment statistics it can be difficult to get to the "bottom line" with various groups such as "self designated students" often clouding the figures.

Whatever the "real unemployment rate in the UK" the fact is there are more and more people struggling. This despite the unemployment figure showing a small drop recently although the figure is almost certain to continue to head upwards for the foreseeable future. It is not just the current UK government which has attempted to cloud the official unemployment rate as this is something which has been ongoing since the year dot.

While the 2.8 million "underemployed" figure may seem irrelevant in the current economic environment it is worth remembering that part-time workers will receive more assistance from the state than those in full-time employment. Therefore, the pressure on the public purse is greater the more people who are underemployed.

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