Wales

Insecure at work

Key points

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Graph 1: Job insecurity (proportions)

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Graph 2: Job insecurity (numbers)

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Graph 3: Temporary/part-time

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Graph 4: Temporary contracts

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Graph 5: Union membership

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Definitions and data sources

The first graph tackles insecurity at work through the issue of people who find themselves taking a succession of jobs interspersed with periods of unemployment.  It shows the probability that someone who makes a new claim for Jobseeker's Allowance was last claiming that benefit less than six months previously.  This is effectively the same as the proportion of people finding work who then lose that work within six months.  Figures are shown separately for men and women.  The data for each year is taken from the first quarter of the Joint Unemployment and Vacancies Operating System (JUVOS) cohort (the data is not publicly available).

The second graph shows the same data but as actual numbers rather than as a proportion of new claimants for Jobseeker's Allowance.  In times of reasonably constant unemployment, this graph would not add much value but it does provide extra information at a time of rising unemployment (as is the case in 2009).  So, for example, the proportions in the first graph fell significantly in 2009 but, as the second graph shows, this is not because the numerator (i.e. the numbers in the second graph) fell but because the denominator (i.e. the total number of new claims for Jobseeker's Allowance) rose.

The third graph shows the principal reasons that working-age people give for taking part-time work or temporary work.  In each case, the main point of interest is those taking these forms of work who would prefer, respectively, full-time or permanent work.  Note that students are excluded from the analysis of part-time work.

The fourth graph shows the number of temporary workers who are of working age.  A temporary employee is one who said that his/her main job is non-permanent in one of the following ways: fixed period contracts; agency temping; casual work; seasonal work; and other temporary work.

The fifth graph shows the proportion of people currently employed who are members of a trade union or staff association, with the data shown separately by level of pay.

The data source for the third to fifth graphs is the Labour Force Survey (LFS).  In the third and fourth graphs, the data is the average for the latest three years.  The figures in the fifth graph are for the fourth quarter of the latest year (the data is only collected in the fourth quarter).

Overall adequacy of the indicator: medium.  While the claimant count data is sound, the narrow definition of unemployment that it represents means that it understates the extent of short-term working interspersed with spells of joblessness.

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