New report adds to heated ‘leveling up’ debate by revealing England’s most ‘unstable’ areas

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For workers in the north and central regions, accessing stable employment with fair wages and predictable working hours is even more difficult, which can have serious implications for living standards, health, and future employment prospects. .

A new report published by Lancaster University’s Work Foundation describes work that is ‘severely precarious’ (involuntary temporary or part-time employment, or a combination of multiple forms of insecurity, such as temporary or temporary employment). The study revealed which regions had the highest and lowest levels of employment. zero-hour contracts, or low or unpredictable pay).

The study focuses on nine Mayors’ Association authorities and Greater London, where more than a third of England’s workforce (11 million workers) live. Of these workers, 2.2 million (19.4%) are in highly precarious jobs.

The analysis shows people in the Tees Valley are most at risk of falling into severe precarious work, with levels of precarious work 4.2 percentage points higher than the national average. This equates to one in four workers in the Tees Valley experiencing severe precarious work, compared to one in five workers nationally. . The situation is even more dire in Middlesbrough, where nearly a third (29.8%) of workers are in highly insecure work, 10 percentage points higher than the national average.

This is followed by workers in South Yorkshire, where the rate of precarious employment is 1.9 percentage points higher than the national average, and workers in the West Midlands, where the rate of precarious employment is 1.1 percentage points higher than the national average.

Researchers say large-scale government intervention is needed to reduce levels of precarious work across the country. Even if the proportion of people in seriously precarious work in England’s four worst hotspots (Tees Valley, South Yorkshire, West Midlands and North of Tyne) fell to the current national average (19.8%), 40,000 people will only be saved from a seriously unstable situation. work.

“Past discussions about leveling up and reducing regional inequality have too often failed to recognize the negative impact of precarious work on the lives of millions of people in the UK.” Ben Harrison says. “The reality is that people in highly precarious jobs are paying the price for the government’s failure to strengthen employment rights and protections during this parliament. It’s hindering my ambition to level up.”

While precarious employment tends to be concentrated in sectors such as hospitality, social care and government services, the report notes that job security in these sectors depends on the nature of the activities taking place within a location and the wider geographical area. It was found that there were large differences across the country depending on productivity. . For example, hospitality workers in the Liverpool City Region are less likely to face severe anxiety at work than those in the Tees Valley. This is primarily due to the scale and success of Merseyside’s industry, which has steadily attracted major global events and events. Wider investment.

The findings show that workers living in Liverpool are the least likely to be in precarious work of any region analyzed, with the rate of precarious work being one percentage point lower than the national average. The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough region also performs relatively well, with precarious work rates 0.9 percentage points lower than the national average.

However, even within these regions, there are significant areas of highly precarious work. For example, more than one in four (25.9%) of workers in Peterborough local authority are very precarious, even though the average for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Union is 18.9% of her I’m at work.

“Even in relatively well-performing regions, steps need to be taken to reduce severely precarious work,” continued Ben Harrison. “We know that people who face broader structural disadvantages in the labor market are more likely to take up these types of jobs. Women, disabled people and people from ethnic minority backgrounds are particularly at risk. These groups of workers are often exposed to “cost of living crises,” leaving these groups of workers even more vulnerable.

“Fundamentally, we cannot reduce inequality in the UK without tackling precarious work and improving access to well-paid, secure jobs.”

Among the report’s recommendations, the Work Foundation calls on the government to table an employment bill in the next parliament that puts the quality and security of jobs at the heart of labor market regulation.

It also makes recommendations on improving access to predictable working patterns and improving statutory sick pay, and urges the Government to support and work with the Mayors’ Coalition Authority and Greater London to address instability in the region. It calls for regions to consider how they themselves can work to reduce levels of work.

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