New figures from the Office of National Statistics show that an estimated 30,000 people are now on zero hours contracts in the North East, a rate above the national average.
Nationally, the ONS reported that 744,000 people on a zero-hours contract in their main job, as reported to the Labour Force Survey for April-June 2015. This is 2.4% of all people in employment.
The latest estimate for employees on a zero-hours contract is an increase from the 624,000 people who reported this at the same time last year.
In the North East, 2.6% of people in employment are on now on a zero hours contract.
Emma Lewell-Buck, Labour MP for South Shields said:
“Too many people in the North East have been forced to rely upon zero hours contracts. The news that 30,000 people are now on them in the region shows the scale of the problem we face.
“Zero hours contracts don’t offer the security families need and certainly aren’t the way to sustainable economic growth. This government is not prepared to take action to end exploitative zero hours contracts and with their planned cuts to tax credits for those in work, families will be rightly questioning just whose side David Cameron is on.”
Chuka Umunna MP, Labour’s Shadow Business Secretary, said:
“These stark figures show that the Tories are the party of insecurity at work.
“Zero-hours work is on the rise with the total number of contracts rising to 1.5 million and the number of people reporting their main source of employment as a zero-hours contract having risen by almost 20 per cent since last year. At the same time, there are now over 1.2 million people working part time because they could not find full time work - 200,000 more than when the Tories took office in 2010.
“Ministers are watering down vital protections at work and have refused to act to protect workers on zero-hours contracts. As long as ministers are happy to sit aside and encourage the proliferation of insecure work, more and more people won’t have the security of knowing where their next pay cheque is coming from or being able to plan ahead.”