Low-paid workers have been hit hardest during the recession, according to trade unions, with a 76,230 increase in the number of shop workers appearing in the jobseeker’s allowance (JSA) claimant count in the year to July.
The Trades Union Congress (TUC) has blamed this on the number of big-name retailers going out of business over the past year, the Guardian reported. The closure of Woolworths alone resulted in 27,000 job losses.
And while the number of JSA claimants in professional occupations rose by 1.2% between July 2008 and July 2009, those in lower paid roles increased by 3.6%.
Low-paid workers are also more likely to spend longer in receipt of JSA than other groups.
Brendan Barber, TUC general secretary, said: “These figures explode the myth that this is some kind of classless – or even middle-class – recession. It’s the low-skilled and the low paid who are bearing the brunt of the recession.”