More than a million workers have lost their jobs since the beginning of the recession, forcing many to take a huge pay cut in order to land a new job, economists have revealed.
A report released by the Charted Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD) paints a devastating picture for working people who are continuing to suffer job losses, pay cuts and huge drops in living standards during the recession.
It revealed that 1.3 million people have been made redundant during the “official” recession – double the fall in employment and equivalent to 4.4 per cent of those in work before the downturn.
And two-thirds of those who succeeded in finding new work were forced to take a 28 per cent pay cut.
Between April 2008 and November 2009 there were 6.2 million fresh claims for jobseeker’s allowance – an astonishing 7.5 times higher than the official unemployment claimant count, according to the CIPD.
Communist Party of Britain general secretary Rob Griffiths said the government had “utterly failed to protect workers,” preferring to allow them to be “thrown to the wolves” of unemployment and poverty.
Mr Griffiths insisted that, if the government wanted to successfully ease the pain of the recession for workers, it must “direct the activities of big business and the movement of capital.
“As in every capitalist recession, many viable enterprises have been shut down in order to maximise profitability,” he said.
“Many employers have taken advantage of the recession to intensify or to force fewer workers to work even harder.”
The CIPD study is released on Monday, the day that Chancellor Alistair Darling’s promise of employment, training or work experience for every young person out of work for six months goes live.
In his pre-Budget report, Mr Darling called for a 1 per cent pay cap for the public sector.
But speaking to the Sunday Times, he threatened to bring a swooping axe down on all public-sector workers, promising pay cuts.
Mr Darling tried to justify the decision, quoting figures that private-sector workers had suffered an average 0.1 per cent pay cut across the board.
Responding to the Chancellor, a public-sector union Unison spokeswoman accused him of using the recession to divide working people.
“What is the point in pitting public-sector workers against private-sector workers in a race to the bottom?” she questioned.
“They are using the public sector as a smokescreen when it is big City bankers who have dragged this country into recession.”
The spokeswoman also said that the union expected the government to honour the three-year pay deal in the NHS and called for a strong focus on getting the country out of recession.
“We need to look how we get this country out of recession and that is not by depressing wages and the economy still further.
“When you cut people’s wages you cut their purchasing power – this has a knock-on effect.”
Taken from Morning Star