Nye Cominetti

The labour market is delivering on jobs and pay – it is vital for living standards that we keep it that way

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A tight labour market is finally delivering decent pay growth. In the three months to July 2019, average weekly regular pay (i.e. excluding bonuses) grew by 1.9 per cent on the previous year (slightly down on the previous month). Given that average real pay grew by 2.1 per cent in the eight years prior to … Continued

Nye Cominetti

Is the minimum wage pushing people into self-employment?

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Two big changes in the labour market over the past two decades have been the rise in self-employment and the introduction and uprating of the minimum wage. Is there a connection between these trends? Legally, of course, there is no connection – the minimum wage applies to employees only. But economically, we would expect one. … Continued

Nye Cominetti

Two and a half reasons to be cheerful about our strong and stable labour market

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Today’s labour market statistics were, to use a technical term, boring. In a world of high political and economic drama, our labour market has served up headline measures of real pay growth and employment which basically haven’t changed for four months in a row. We shouldn’t bemoan unchanging numbers. Like air travel and digging tunnels, … Continued

Daniel Tomlinson

Union membership is rising again – but will it last?

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In 2018 the Trades Union Congress (TUC) celebrated its 150th birthday. Yesterday the government delivered a somewhat belated birthday present to the union movement in the form of new statistics showing that membership levels have risen significantly for the first time in almost two decades. Happy birthday TUC! In this short blog post, we provide … Continued

Taking stock of skills and education in Brexit Britain

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The skills and qualifications held by the British workforce have come under increased scrutiny lately, tied as they are to the Brexit-related migration debate. Some have argued that ‘turning off the tap’ of migrant labour will cause immediate, and substantial, recruitment difficulties for firms. Others maintain that reduced levels of migration could compel educators and … Continued

Alternative paths to success? The jobs landscape facing young non-graduates today

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From photos of jumping A level students to guides to freshers’ week, at this time of year it can feel like university is the only route taken by teenagers. But in fact, fewer than half of young people follow this seemingly well-trodden path at 18. And, as this morning’s ONS publication about non-graduates’ employment patterns … Continued

Employers are offering a growing ‘disloyalty bonus’ – young people should take advantage

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This piece was first published on i.  First they took away the long-service awards: carriage clocks and gold watches; now they’re coming for your pay rises; loyalty no longer pays in UK firms. That’s the big takeaway from new Resolution Foundation research looking at what’s happening in the jobs market. In the late 1990s if … Continued

More good news today for low-income families, unless they want a pay rise

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The Office for National Statistic’s monthly release of labour market statistics is an opportunity for economists and commentators to probe the state of the UK economy. Many Twitter characters have been spilt arguing if the figures presage faster wage growth, where employment may heading next, and what all this means for the Bank of England’s … Continued

Women are leading the charge of Britain’s impressive employment record

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Another set of labour market statistics, another round of mixed news. On pay, it’s the all-too-familiar problem of sluggish wage pay growth, with average weekly earnings still £15 below their pre-financial crisis peak (in real terms). On jobs, it’s another familiar tale, but a much more positive one – alongside overall record employment rates, the … Continued

Britain’s labour market – the good (jobs), the bad (pay) and the ugly (productivity)

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This month’s labour market statistics gave us a classic mixed bag of results, with reasons to be cheerful on jobs, confused on pay, and downright depressed when it comes to Britain’s productivity record. Let’s start with the good news on jobs. Employment has hit another new high, with recent growth driven by full-time work – … Continued

Britain passes a major milestone on pay and breaks new ground on jobs – but there’s a productivity sting

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This morning UK labour market passed a few living standards milestones on pay and jobs with two good pieces of news, one expected and one a surprise. We also got a hint of more good news to come. But we also got one bit of bad news. Let’s start with the good. Today pay growth … Continued

Torsten Bell

Deeds not words – what we needed from the government’s response to the Taylor Review today

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Yesterday, Britain celebrated the success of the ‘deeds not words’ campaign that won women the vote. Today, we have something of the opposite in the government’s response to last summer’s Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices. It’s not nothing, but those hoping for a bold new dawn in the rules that govern Britain’s labour market … Continued

We need to put the changing world of work back in the spotlight

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Angst over diminishing attention spans is widespread these days, with the reaction to Twitter’s expansion to 280 characters a case in point. That’s long been true in politics: even the most important of issues need a regular drumbeat to maintain public interest. And it certainly applies to the problems highlighted by the Taylor Review of … Continued

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