Low paid workers account for almost half the increase in unemployment over the last three years, according to the TUC.
The lowest paid workers have been hit with the bulk of the job losses since 2008, the union’s report said. Some 41 per cent of the claimant count increase over the past three years has been from sales, service and administrative jobs, the study found.
Labourers, cleaners, catering and bar staff have also faced hard times, racking up the second largest increase in claimant-count unemployment during the same period, according to the report. The number of claimants from these sectors almost doubled from 86,000 in April 2008 to 168,000 in August this year, the TUC said.
The report said cuts in the public sector had affected women particularly badly, while they have also lost a number of jobs in the sales sector.
Brendan Barber, the general secretary of the TUC, said: “While millions of people have suffered since the financial crash, those in low-paid work have paid a particularly heavy price in terms of job losses.
“There are over three million people across the UK in sales, admin and service jobs so this sharp rise in unemployment is a major concern. With consumer confidence continuing to fall and the numbers out of work reaching levels last seen in the mid-90s, hopes of a jobs recovery any time soon are looking ever-more remote.
“People are desperate to see where new jobs are going to come from but the Government’s rigid austerity plan is killing off their job prospects and stifling business growth. The Bank of England has started its plan B. It’s time for the Chancellor to catch up and change course.”
However, a spokesperson from the Government insisted it was important to stick to the deficit reduction plan.
The spokesperson said: “The Government has always said that recovering from a financial crisis with such a large debt overhang would be slow and choppy, but as the instability in the eurozone shows, it is vital that the Government sticks to its deficit reduction plan. This plan is supported by the IMF, OECD and CBI and is essential for sustainable growth, It has helped deliver record low interest rates for families, along with 500,000 private sector jobs created last year.
“Our new work programme is now up and running and offers people who have lost their jobs flexible tailored help to get back into jobs and stay there.”
New unemployment figures are due out on Wednesday.