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The State of Living Standards

10 February 2014
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The State of Living Standards

Date: 11 February 2014
Author: James Plunkett , Alex Hurrell and Matthew Whittaker

Household incomes are set to start rising again in 2015 after six years of decline according to the Resolution Foundation. The findings come in a detailed and authoritative assessment of the state of Britain’s living standards.

However, the report from the independent think tank also finds that growth in disposable income for the typical household is likely to be modest, barely positive in 2015-16 and less than one per cent a year for each of the following three years.

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Careers and carers: childcare and maternal labour supply

23 January 2014
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Careers and Carers: Childcare and maternal labour supply

Date: 23 January 2014
Author: Vidhya Alakeson and Giselle Cory

Around two-thirds of mothers say the cost of childcare is an obstacle to them working more, reveals a new report from independent think tank the Resolution Foundation.

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Closer to the Edge?

6 January 2014
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Closer to the edge? Debt repayments in 2018 under different household income and borrowing cost scenarios

Date: 29 December 2013
Author: Matthew Whittaker

Britain faces the mounting prospect of a household debt crisis as analysis from the Resolution Foundation suggests that a least a million British families, and possibly as many as 2 million, could be spending more than half their disposable income on repayments by 2018

The study uses the latest five-year growth projections from the Office for Budget Responsibility to model how the number of households in ‘debt peril’ may rise over the same horizon – depending on the path of interest rates and the shape of growth in household incomes.

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Growth up, wages down

4 December 2013
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Growth up, wages down: something has to give

Date: 5 December 2013
Author: Matthew Whittaker

Despite the improving fortunes of national output however, many are yet to feel the benefit in their pay packets and bank balances. With average wages failing to keep pace with inflation and with austerity measures continuing to bite, the hit to living standards is now into its fifth year. Yet the nascent recovery has been driven in no small part to date by a pick-up in household consumption, raising the question of just how sustainable this renewed growth can be in the absence of a significant upturn in incomes. 

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Starting out or getting stuck?

27 November 2013
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Starting out or getting stuck? An analysis of who gets trapped in low paid work—and who escapes

Date: 27 November 2013
Author: Alex Hurrell

Almost three-quarters of Britain’s workers who were on low pay in 2002 failed to escape from it over the course of the following decade.

Both low pay and social mobility are recognised as serious concerns in Britain but much less attention has been given to how easy or hard it is for someone to work their way up the earnings scale. Who gets stuck on low pay and who gets on?

Starting out or getting stuck? gives new insight into how many people stay on low pay and for how long, whether low paid workers are more likely to remain stuck now than in the past and what the differences are between those who are stuck and those who progress.

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One foot on the ladder

19 November 2013
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One foot on the ladder: how shared ownership can bring owning a home into reach

Date: 20 November 2013
Author: Vidhya Alakeson , Giselle Cory and Hannah Fearn

A major expansion of newly built shared ownership could help low and modest income working families across the country onto the property ladder, while keeping their housing costs affordable.

One foot on the ladder, shows that shared ownership – where buyers purchase at least 25 per cent of the equity in a home and pay a low rent on the remaining share owned by a Housing Association - is affordable for a couple with one child on £22,000 in 87 percent of local authorities in Britain, assuming they spend no more than 35 per cent of their net income on housing costs.

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A polarising crisis

13 November 2013
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A Polarising Crisis? The changing shape of the UK and US labour markets from 2008 to 2012

Date: 14 November 2013
Author: James Plunkett and João Paulo Pessoa

The polarisation of the UK labour market intensified during the great recession and its aftermath as low- and high-skilled jobs expanded while middle-skilled jobs fell as a share of employment, reveals A Polarising Crisis? The report, produced in collaboration with the London School of Economics, lends credence to concerns that the long downturn may have pushed the UK towards a two-tier labour market.

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Minimum stay

25 October 2013
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Minimum stay: Understanding how long people remain on the minimum wage

Date: 26 October 2013
Author: Conor D'Arcy and Alex Hurrell

Britain’s growing minimum wage workforce includes 320,000 people who have been trapped on the lowest rung of the pay ladder for five years or more.

Minimum Stay shows that 17 per cent of all those currently earning the minimum wage or up to 25p an hour above it, have only ever held jobs at this pay level when they have been employed in the last five years. Over the last 10 years, 140,000 workers (7 per cent of all minimum wage workers) have not earned more than 25 pence above the minimum wage. 90,000 workers have never earned more than 25 pence above the minimum wage in the 13 years since it was introduced in 1999.

 

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Building homes for generation rent

9 October 2013
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Building Homes for Generation Rent

Date: 10 October 2013
Author: Vidhya Alakeson and Katie Blacklock

A low-risk income return of 4.7 per cent should be achievable for institutional investors putting money into the private rented sector - a move which could also help solve Britain’s housing crisis for families on modest incomes.

Building Homes for Generation Rent identifies a £140 million property portfolio, made up of almost 800 rental homes around the country which are already being built or planned by not-for-profit housing providers, and models in detail the profit that a commercial stake in them would return. It shows that it should be possible to achieve a 3.9 per cent return on incomes alone, rising to 6.5 per cent or more on total returns – which include both income and rising capital values, at modest inflation. 

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Low Pay Britain 2013

3 September 2013
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Low Pay Britain 2013

Date: 4 September 2013
Author: Matthew Whittaker and Alex Hurrell

Economic downturn has pushed a further 1.4 million employees below the Living Wage – the rate deemed necessary for a basic standard of living. Low Pay Britain 2013 shows that 4.8 million Britons (20 per cent of all employees) earn below the Living Wage – a leap from 3.4 million (14 per cent) in 2009 – at the height of the recession. The report provides a comprehensive breakdown of the extent of sub-Living Wage pay and low pay more generally among the country’s 25 million employees, including by age, gender, sector and region.

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