6:49 am, Sun 08 Sep 2013
A "staggering" 5.5 million workers could be on zero hours contracts, according to a study of 5,000 members of the Unite union.
A study found more than one in five Unite members were on zero hours contracts - five times higher than prior estimates - with half of respondents in the 16-30 category.
Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said the research suggests a "growing sub class" of insecure, low paid employment, with only one in seven wanting to remain on the contracts.
The results of the study by social survey company Mass1 came as employment rights will be debated on the first day of the TUC congress in Bournemouth today.
6:06 am, Sun 08 Sep 2013
The Government has hit back at TUC claims that the UK remains in a job crisis, with a true scale of unemployment that far exceeds the official figures.
Once again the unions are showing just how out of touch they are.
Rather than welcoming the fact that employment is at a record high and the number of people claiming out of work benefits has fallen, they are determined to talk down both the economy and perhaps worse - the people who have actually worked hard to find themselves a job.
This is nothing but a cynical ploy from Labour's trade unions. The economy is growing and jobs are being created and they can't bear to welcome that.
– Minister for Employment Mark Hoban
5:58 am, Sun 08 Sep 2013
The TUC has said the UK is "still in the midst of a job crisis" despite unemployment falling in recent months.
The true scale of unemployment is far bigger than official figures suggest, as nearly five million people say they want work today.
With a further 1.4 million people only able to find part-time work, despite needing a full-time job to get by, it's clear that our labour market remains far from full healthy.
– TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady
Mr O'Grady said it was important that official figures "better reflect the true nature of the jobs market".
5:50 am, Sun 08 Sep 2013
The TUC has said wider forms of unemployment should be given the same level of importance in the UK as in the United States.
Credit: Dave Thompson/PA Archive
The TUC Congress opens in Bournemouth today with a warning that unemployment could be as high as 4.75 million.
A TUC report published ahead of the south coast meeting said wider measures of joblessness should be incorporated into the total, including the economically inactive.
As well as the 2.5 million official jobless figure, a further 2.26 million people want a job but are not classified as unemployed, the TUC said.
Read: Unapologetic Miliband still committed to union reforms