We need to address Britain’s Jekyll and Hyde labour market

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Jobs, Skills and Pay

The latest chapter in the British labour market’s Jekyll and Hyde story was published this week. New data on jobs, pay and inflation continued the plot of recent months: an impressively high employment rate twinned with woeful wage growth that’s unable to keep up with prices. But for one group at least, recent developments have … Continued

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There’s much uncertainty about a ‘No Deal’ Brexit, but what we do know would be bad for living standards

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Public Finances and the Economy

Big change, means big uncertainty. Especially when that big change is being brought to the complex beast that is a major developed country in the 21st Century. To complicate the task further, in the case of Brexit Britain while we know big change is coming, we don’t know what form that big change will actually … Continued

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Let it go Chancellor. Why Philip Hammond should revisit the benefit freeze in next month’s Budget

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Tax and Welfare

The weather might be un-seasonally warm just now, but millions of household budgets are in the grip of a four-year freeze that’s about to get colder still. For decades, the government’s default position has been to uprate the value of working-age benefits each April in line with the rate of inflation prevailing in the previous … Continued

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Did raising tuition fees flatter measurements of young people’s incomes?

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Incomes and Inequality

The government has announced that the maximum annual tuition fee will be frozen at £9,250; and that the earnings threshold for repayment will jump from £21,000 to £25,000. What’s more, there will be a wide review of student finances to “look again” at this turbulent political issue. While they’re doing that, government statisticians should look … Continued

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The living standards cost of the OBR’s newfound productivity pessimism

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Public Finances and the Economy

Rumours of attempts within the Cabinet to remove Philip Hammond may or may not be wide of the mark. But given the recent steady flow of disappointing economic data, the Chancellor could be forgiven for wanting to walk before he’s pushed. Last week’s PMI data and today’s short-term indicators from the ONS both suggested that … Continued

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