The labour market in Scotland has weakened considerably since the start of the recession despite relatively low levels of unemployment, according to a university economist.
There has been a 28% drop in people working paid overtime and a 17% drop in average overtime hours since 2007, Stirling University Professor David Bell has found.
A tenth of Scottish workers are willing to work more hours than are currently on offer, Prof Bell said in a report to go before Holyrood's Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee this week.
The considerable weakness in the labour market can, therefore, be attributed to under-employment rather than the unemployment seen in the recessions of the mid 70s, early 80s and early 90s, according to Prof Bell.
Under-employment is characterised by a larger number of part-time workers and full-time workers who are denied the opportunity to work paid overtime due to a lack of demand in the economy. The underemployed are more likely to be male, young, work in the private sector, be less well-qualified and already work few hours. They are also more likely to live in Scotland than other areas such as the South-East of England.
Citizens Advice Scotland has highlighted the disproportionate effect underemployment has on young Scots, stalling their career, delaying their personal independence and leaving them more susceptible to high-interest payday lenders.
Prof Bell said: "These data are suggestive of a labour market that has weakened considerably since the start of the Great Recession. They are suggestive of a number of reasons why workers in Scotland may now feel underemployed: they would like to work more hours at existing pay rates. But it does not directly address this issue by asking workers if they would like to work more hours.
"It is clear that there has been a sharp rise in the proportion wishing to work longer hours since 2008. The `underemployment rate` now stands at over 10%. This implies that a significant proportion of the Scottish workers are `demand-constrained` - there is not enough demand for the labour they are willing to supply."
Citizens Advice Scotland's chief executive Margaret Lynch said underemployment is "one of the great hidden problems of our economic crisis".
"While this problem affects people right across society, one of the most worrying aspects of it is the number of graduates who are in this position," she said. "Last year we undertook a major survey on this. 1,000 Scottish graduates responded and 25% of them said they were working, but under-employed, or in low-paid jobs that did not require a degree. Of these, only 15% were confident of getting a degree-level job in future."