Blog & Articles

Careers and carers: would some stay-at-home mums prefer to work?

Date: 24. January 2014
Vidhya Alakeson

Camilla is 31. She has two children under five. She currently works five hours a week but she would prefer to work 16 hours. Like her, Rachel also has two children under five. She's a stay at home mum but she would prefer to work full time. But for both Camilla and Rachel, childcare is too expensive for them to work as many hours as they would like.

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Mind the jobs gap

Date: 14. August 2013
Alex Hurrell

The latest labour market data obscures the fact that job creation is failing to keep up with population growth, and that whole regions are being left out of any economic recovery

Many UK politicians and commentators have highlighted that the UK labour market has performed remarkably well despite the weakness of the economic recovery following the 2008 crash. They point to the fact that overall levels of employment have now surpassed their pre-recession peak, with the latest official labour market statistics released yesterday revealing that there are 29.8 million people working in the UK, over 200,000 more than in early 2008, and up 69,000 on the previous quarter.

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The road to a jobs recovery is longer than it seems

Date: 12. March 2013
James Plunkett

This post originally appeared on the Huffington Post

For anyone hoping to sift a nugget of gold from recent economic data, employment stats have been the place to look. In the past year, the number of people working in the UK has risen faster than at any time since 1989, a remarkable performance from an economy with close to zero growth. Not only have these figures befuddled economists, prompting much debate of a productivity puzzle, but they've also encouraged a sanguine view of the jobs recovery.  As the prime minister and leading commentators have been fond of pointing out - and rightly so - employment is now back to pre-crisis levels, making this one of the few economic indicators not keeping the Chancellor up at night.

Yet step back from a narrow focus on the number of people in work and the challenge we face on employment is daunting.

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Why We Need to Take Another Look at Older Employment

Date: 15. June 2012
Giselle Cory

This blog originally appeared on the Huffington Post

More people are working for longer. One in eight people now work past their retirement age, up for one in 12 in 2000 according to new stats from ONS. This is good news. Working for longer is to be welcomed at a time when people are living longer, healthier lives. But before we congratulate ourselves on supporting longer working lives, two important factors need to be taken into account.

Firstly, gender counts. Nearly two out of three of the 1.4m older people in work are women. Across the age profile, female participation has been going up for quite some time so we would expect this trend to be reflected within older age groups. But there is another factor at play. The UK has a relatively low female state pension age (SPA).

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More than a minimum?

Date: 17. April 2012
Gavin Kelly

This post first appeared on Gavin Kelly's New Statesman blog.

Once in a while a policy moves from being partisan and divisive to representing the mainstream consensus in a very short period of time. That is, or at least was, the case with the national minimum wage (NMW). It wasn’t so long ago it was denigrated by much of the business community and the then Conservative opposition - but only a few years later it acquired a very different status as a statement of the bleeding obvious. The result, according to a timely new report by Professor Alan Manning, is that it has ‘settled down into a premature staid middle age’ following a noisy infancy without ever having passed through a teenage rebellion.

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