The View That Britain Should Be Learning Lessons From the US Labour Market Is Long Past Its Sell-By Date

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Political debates about key policy challenges often tend to idealise – and bastardise – the experience of other countries. Whether it is Finnish schools, Swedish childcare, German vocational training, Danish ‘flexicurity’, Israeli entrepreneurship or Dutch pensions, there are places that we are supposed to look to for inspiration. Usually these views are rooted in some … Continued

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Hollowing out – deeper than it sounds

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It’s rare that technical economic concepts make their way out of the halls of academia and into the mainstream. Yet the idea that labour markets in advanced economies are increasingly ‘polarising’ between ‘lovely’ and ‘lousy’ jobs – with middle-of-the-road jobs being ‘hollowed out’ and wage inequality rising as a result – is one that has … Continued

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Break even moment for employment masks regional imbalance

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Today’s employment statistics mark an important point on the long road to recovery from the historically deep downturn we have suffered. After over six years, the working age employment rate has returned to its pre-recession level of 73.0 per cent (though it is still below the February 2005 peak of 73.2 per cent). We have … Continued

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More than a minimum: reforming the minimum wage

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The national minimum wage celebrates its 15th birthday next month. Given the dire effects some predicted it would have – two million job losses and spiralling inflation – even its short-term survival was far from guaranteed in 1999. George Bain, chair of the Low Pay Commission when the initial rate was set, has admitted he … Continued

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What impact will extra childcare support have for working parents?

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Tax and Welfare

The final report of the Commission on Living Standards, a broad group of leading employers, trade unionists, economists and heads of parents’ groups brought together by the independent think-tank the Resolution Foundation, was launched on Wednesday. A key recommendation put forward in the report was to extend the Early Years Entitlement (EYE) of 15 free hours of childcare … Continued

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Measuring unemployment: the claimant count gap

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A rare good news story from the ONS, with the latest labour market statistics bucking the trend for gloomy economic data. In June to August, unemployment fell to 2.53 million and the total number of people in employment (29.59 million) reached a new high. Yet, while the number of people out of work was down by 50,000, … Continued

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