CIPD issues warning over hidden army of ‘non-workers’

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has warned the Government that something needs to be done to combat the increasing numbers of people who are choosing not to work.

While unemployment has hit it’s lowest levels since 1975, the number of economically inactive people in the UK – those without jobs and not looking for work – has risen to a record 7.9 million

John Philpott, chief economist at the CIPD, said the Government could take some comfort from the fact that the rise in the economically inactive population in recent years was being driven primarily by an increase in the number of students rather than people likely to be receiving welfare benefits.

However, he said that statistics on long-term absence from work were a cause for concern.

“The number of people classified as long-term sick remains very high – at more than two million – and has increased by 60,000 in the past year,” he said.

“The chancellor must use next month’s pre-Budget statement to set out specific proposals for helping more of the long-term sick back into work, including changes to the benefits system to encourage people on Incapacity Benefit to participate in the jobs market so that they become visible to prospective employers.”

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