The rise of part-time Britain

1.3m people are being forced to work part-time because they can't find full-time jobs.

The government boasted today of a rise in employment of 18,000 (unemployment rose by 118,000) but what it didn't mention was that while the number of part-time jobs rose by 75,000, the number of full-time jobs fell by 57,000. The former now account for 23 per cent of all employment.

A rise in part-time jobs is not always a negative indicator. Those who care for children or other family members, for instance, are often unable to work longer hours. But data from the Office for National Statistics shows that a growing number of people are being forced to work part-time because they can't find full-time jobs. As the graph below shows, the number of workers in this group has risen to 1.3m, the highest level since comparable records began in 1992. This figure has risen by 44,000 (3.5 per cent) in the last quarter and by 149,000 (12.8 per cent) in the last year.

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Over the same period, the number of temporary workers has risen to 1.6 million, 38 per cent of whom are in the jobs because they couldn't find permanent work. As well as worrying about the quantity of jobs, we need a renewed focus on the quality too.

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.

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Jeremy Corbyn will stay on the Labour leadership ballot paper, judge rules

Labour donor Michael Foster had challenged the decision at the High Court.

The High Court has ruled that Jeremy Corbyn should be allowed to automatically run again for Labour leader after the decision of the party's National Executive Committee was challenged. 

Corbyn declared it a "waste of time" and an attempt to overturn the right of Labour members to choose their leader.

The decision ends the hope of some anti-Corbyn Labour members that he could be excluded from the contest altogether.

The legal challenge had been brought by Michael Foster, a Labour donor and former parliamentary candidate, who maintained he was simply seeking the views of experts.

But when the experts spoke, it was in Corbyn's favour. 

The ruling said: "Accordingly, the Judge accepted that the decision of the NEC was correct and that Mr Corbyn was entitled to be a candidate in the forthcoming election without the need for nominations."

This judgement was "wholly unaffected by political considerations", it added. 

Corbyn said: "I welcome the decision by the High Court to respect the democracy of the Labour Party.

"This has been a waste of time and resources when our party should be focused on holding the government to account.

"There should have been no question of the right of half a million Labour party members to choose their own leader being overturned. If anything, the aim should be to expand the number of voters in this election. I hope all candidates and supporters will reject any attempt to prolong this process, and that we can now proceed with the election in a comradely and respectful manner."

Iain McNicol, general secretary of the Labour Party, said: “We are delighted that the Court has upheld the authority and decision of the National Executive Committee of the Labour Party. 

“We will continue with the leadership election as agreed by the NEC."

If Corbyn had been excluded, he would have had to seek the nomination of 51 MPs, which would have been difficult since just 40 voted against the no confidence motion in him. He would therefore have been effectively excluded from running. 

Owen Smith, the candidate backed by rebel MPs, told the BBC earlier he believed Corbyn should stay on the ballot paper. 

He said after the judgement: “I’m pleased the court has done the right thing and ruled that Jeremy should be on the ballot. This now puts to bed any questions about the process, so we can get on with discussing the issues that really matter."

The news was greeted with celebration by Corbyn supporters.