Some praise our gig economy flexibility. I call it exploitation | Larry Elliott

For ‘record employment’, read low wages, low productivity, low investment. The idea of happy zero-hours workers is for the birds

Getting on for one million people in Britain wait each day for a text or a phone call to let them know whether an employer has work for them. Twenty years ago few had heard of zero-hour contracts, but the number of workers covered by them has increased more than fourfold since the recession of a decade ago.

Related: More than 900,000 UK workers now on zero-hours contracts

The reason for weak consumer spending and the flat housing market is wages not keeping pace with inflation

Related: Record 60% of Britons in poverty are in working families – study

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