How to weigh up minimum wage manifesto promises

Money talks but the bite is what matters


While the principle of there being a minimum wage is, happily, no longer a matter of ideological contention in British politics, its future level is likely to remain a key labour market question in the general election campaign. It matters. First and foremost for the 1.6 million workers who directly rely on it (as well … Continued

The jobs market recovery stalls


Today’s labour market data from the ONS suggest that both labour demand and labour supply are heading South. The only silver lining is that, for those that do have a job, real pay has been rising fast. Labour supply is falling fast Economic inactivity rate has risen to its highest rate since 2015 among those … Continued

Government names and shames 500 firms for illegally under-paying staff – but will it dissuade others from flouting the law?


Today the Department for Business and Trade published a list of more than 500 employers who have underpaid the minimum wage, in the latest ‘naming round’ that publicises firms that break the law. Among the list are household names such as Greggs, easyJet, Hamleys and River Island, as well as smaller local businesses from across … Continued

Good work across the UK’s nations, regions and industries

The 11th Annual NERI Dónal Nevin Lecture


The 11th Annual NERI Dónal Nevin Lecture in association with the School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work at Queen’s University Belfast took place on Monday 16 October, 2023 from 11am – 1pm.  The venue was the Canada Room (and Council Chamber), Lanyon Building, Queen’s University Belfast. Torsten Bell, Chief Executive of the Resolution … Continued

Flying blind?

The case of the missing employment data


Every month the ONS releases lots of data on the condition of the UK labour market – including information about employment, jobs, pay, and vacancies. But for the first time (that we are aware of), today’s statistics were released without the data that comes from the ONS’s Labour Force Survey (LFS) – the source for … Continued

The labour market is cooling but pay growth remains strong

New ONS labour market statistics show the biggest employment fall on record outside of a recession


This morning’s labour market statistics show that the labour market is starting to cool, with the biggest employment fall on record outside of a recession. But this is not yet feeding through into wages, which grew at record high rates. And while wage growth impacts both workers and (indirectly) the wider economy, this month’s pay … Continued

Real-term public sector pay falls are fuelling the recent strikes… but what lies ahead?


Across the past year, 3.9 million working days have been lost to industrial action– more days than at any point since the 1980s. The Resolution Foundation’s Labour Market Outlook, published today, takes a look at why these strikes are happening… and, crucially, at what’s happening to public sector pay, and how this has fuelled the … Continued

The nature of the post-Brexit migration change is different to what many expected


The latest migration statistics, covering the year ending December 2022, confirm that the post-Brexit era has brought significant changes in migration patterns. The predictable headline was that overall net migration reached a record high, but the labour market nature of this change differs from what many expected – with the migrant workforce growing slower than … Continued

Growing, but for how long?


This morning’s labour market data from the ONS had encouraging news in the shape of rising employment, coming from a reversal among the under 50s of the post-pandemic fall in participation. But inactivity among the over 50s and among those with long-term illnesses remains stubbornly high, there continue to be signs that firms’ demand for … Continued

Mums hold the key to getting Britain working again

Boosting workforce participation in the 2020s


Britain has built up a lot of economic problems over the past 15 years – weak investment and productivity growth, contributing to an unprecedented pay squeeze and stagnating living standards. But there has been one metric at which we have excelled – getting more people into work. Sadly this success story has been undone somewhat since the … Continued

Concerning rise in NEETs driven by uptick in youth unemployment

New ONS figures show a sharp rise in the number of young people who are not in education, employment or training


This morning, the ONS published new figures outlining the number of young people who are not in education, employment or training (NEET). Overall, 788,000 16-24-year-olds (11.5 per cent) found themselves NEET in the last three months of 2022. And there has been a sharp rise in the number of young people who are NEET in … Continued

Good news in the latest labour market data for the Bank and the Chancellor, but bad news for the general public


This morning’s labour market stats bring good news and bad news. An uptick in workforce participation is good news for everyone, while signs of weakening pay pressure might ease the Bank of England’s inflation concerns. But a wider cooling of demand (seen in falling vacancies, and rising unemployment and redundancies) don’t bode well for workers. … Continued

Five take-aways from the 2022 ASHE release: a bad year for pay growth, but good news on pay inequality


The ONS published their annual release from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) on October 26th. It’s not the timeliest data – it was collected from a survey of employers all the way back in April, and we already know from other data sources how pay has evolved through to July and August. … Continued


Low unemployment belies a labour market in poor health


Today’s labour market data showed unemployment hitting its lowest rate since 1974. On the face of it, this is cause for celebration. But a shrinking labour force, not a rise in employment, drove the fall in unemployment, and this is a cause for concern. A record number of working-age people are now inactive due to … Continued

Feeling poor and working more – again


Today’s labour market data tell us a bit more about how the labour market is responding to high inflation and the cost of living shock. We see some things we would expect, some things which may be surprising, and much that remains unresolved. Real wages fall at the fastest rate on record The most eye-popping … Continued

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