Stagnation Nation?

The Economy 2030 Inquiry conference

UpcomingWednesday 13 July 2022

QEII Centre, Westminster, SW1P 3EE Register to attend in person or receive access link for remote viewers. The UK is facing a decisive decade of economic change, as we emerge from the pandemic, adjust to Brexit, and urgently transition towards a net zero future. Some hope these changes will help us overcome the stagnation that … Continued

Power, pay and profits

What do shifts in firm and worker power mean for wages?

UpcomingThursday 7 July 2022

Register to attend in person or receive access link for remote viewers. Firms create value – at least the successful ones do. But who benefits, the firm’s owners or workers, and by how much, is often up for grabs. That’s why power in our labour market matters. It doesn’t just affect the level of wages, … Continued

Mind the gap (part II)

What drives productivity gaps across the UK?

UpcomingThursday 30 June 2022

Register to attend in person or receive access link for remote viewers. People’s incomes are fundamental to their living standards, and productivity is fundamental to those incomes. But Britain is beset by big productivity gaps – between North and South, and between metro and non-metro areas. Understanding what has driven these gaps and how they’ve … Continued

Economy 2030

Mind the gap (part I)

How do people’s incomes differ across the UK?

Monday 27 June 2022

People’s incomes are fundamental to their living standards, and closing regional income gaps is central to levelling up the UK. But there are many moving parts to household incomes, they play very different roles across the country, and there are big gaps in what official statistics tell us about this crucial question. An economic strategy … Continued

Economy 2030
Brexit & trade

Brexit Britain

Assessing the impact of Brexit on people, places and firms

Wednesday 22 June 2022

The British economy has altered substantially since the Brexit referendum result, as firms and workers have seen changes to investment and wages respectively. But the longer lasting impacts of Brexit on our economy are ahead, not behind us as our economy goes through the process of adjusting to life outside the single market. Some sectors … Continued

Economy 2030
Net Zero

The net zero job

How will decarbonisation affect the world of work?

Monday 20 June 2022

The net zero transition has changed debates about the future of the labour market, with new jobs – like wind energy engineering – growing year-on-year and worries about rapid declines in carbon-intensive industries like steel production. But the main effect of the net zero transition will be to change our jobs, as firms adapt to … Continued

All change please?

What going for growth could mean for different places across Britain

Tuesday 7 June 2022

After a decade of stagnation and many decades of persistent regional economic divides, the task of securing a brighter economic future for a wider range of places is now up in lights. It’s an ambition that resonates with the public too, and if policy makers across local, city-wide and national government are to take effective … Continued

Economy 2030

Raising the bar

What are the new frontiers for tackling low pay?

Wednesday 25 May 2022

Over the past two decades, Britain’s low pay landscape has been transformed by the introduction and ramping up of the national minimum wage. This has been an unqualified policy success, so much so that the government is on course to eliminate hourly low pay this decade. With that landmark moment in sight, policy makers will … Continued

Green growth: miracle or mirage?

How might cutting down carbon give the UK economy a cutting-edge?

Monday 23 May 2022

The UK’s net zero transition represents a major challenge for the UK, but also a major opportunity if we get it right. Many argue it could see the UK utilising its existing economic strengths to lead the way in cutting edge clean technology – creating jobs and new export opportunities. But with other countries holding … Continued

Whose economy?

Exploring people’s experiences as workers, consumers and citizens

Wednesday 11 May 2022

We all experience the economy in a myriad of different ways – from the jobs we do, to the things we buy and the communities we live in. The good, the bad and the ugly of those experiences are important considerations, not just for individual economic policy decisions, but in setting the objectives of our … Continued

Economy 2030

Advantage Britain?

Understanding the country’s economic strengths

Thursday 28 April 2022

Policy makers often focus on addressing a country’s economic weaknesses. But understanding Britain’s current, or likely future, economic strengths is equally important if our recent relative economic decline is to be put into reverse. Failing to recognise those strengths, or even actively disparaging them, undermines our prosperity but also risks us ignoring the specific challenges … Continued

Economy 2030

The office strikes back

Can post-pandemic remote working solve our productivity challenge?

Thursday 10 March 2022

Book launch for The Nowhere Office by Julia Hobsbawm. Office work has had a mixed reception in recent decades, aiding team work but accused of driving our stress up and productivity down. The onset of the pandemic has triggered a workplace revolution as remote working surged and employers learnt workers can be trusted to work … Continued

Economy 2030

Fees-ible reforms?

Assessing the Government’s new plan for higher education

Wednesday 9 March 2022

The UK’s universities are highly regarded abroad, but are controversial at home. While increasing participation has boosted people’s skills and their social mobility prospects, ‘edusceptics’ worry that too many people are attending university, and about the funding of the growth through fees and loans. Meanwhile the number of young people going to higher education continues … Continued

Economy 2030

Consuming carbon

What does the net zero transition mean for households?

Tuesday 1 March 2022

So far, the UK’s Net Zero strategy has caused minimal visible upheaval to people’s day-to-day lives. During the 2020s, however, emissions will need to be cut in ways that require real change for households – from minimising flights and meat consumption, to switching to electric vehicles and heat pumps. These bring opportunities to improve our … Continued

Economy 2030

Disruption nation

How economic and political change has shaped our world

Wednesday 23 February 2022

Book launch for Disorder: Hard Times in the 21st Century by Helen Thompson The 21st century has witnessed huge shocks across the world, with far-reaching consequences for our economies and democracies. But this should not come as a surprise, as unresolved issues – from energy and trade, to growth and migration – have been accumulating … Continued

Economy 2030
Economic growth

A firm solution?

How businesses can rise to the challenges facing Britain in this decisive decade

Monday 21 February 2022

Speech by the Chairman of the John Lewis Partnership Sharon White Britain is facing a decisive decade of economic change as technological change combines with Covid, Brexit and the rapid transition towards a net zero economy. These challenges are set against a backdrop of rapid demographic shifts, and a legacy of low productivity and high … Continued

Economy 2030

On the road

How will post-Brexit migration changes change Britain?

Thursday 17 February 2022

Migration has been centre stage in economic debates this century. For some higher migration is the root cause of Britain’s low pay, low productivity challenges, while for others it is the answer to labour and skill shortages. The Prime Minister argues lower migration is the route to the UK having a higher wage future. The … Continued

Pressure points

Why the state is getting bigger and what we do about it

Thursday 10 February 2022

The UK that exits the pandemic has a bigger state than the one that went into it. The 2020s will bring further pressure for the state to grow or our tax revenues to shrink, including from our ageing society and net zero ambitions. But previous approaches to responding to such pressure – from shrinking the … Continued

Economy 2030
Brexit & trade

Pivot Pivot!

Assessing the UK’s new Indo-Pacific trade focus

Wednesday 26 January 2022

The UK’s exit from the EU has given it the freedom to pursue an independent trade strategy for the first time in four decades. To date, post-Brexit trade debate has focused on lost access to EU markets, roll-over deals preserving the status quo, and a lack of progress with the US. But the start of … Continued

Economy 2030

Beyond Beveridge

Have social security shifts prepared us for economic change?

Wednesday 19 January 2022

The modern welfare state is approaching its 75th anniversary, but continual reforms and wider economic change mean that it bears little resemblance to the system first envisaged by William Beveridge. And it faces new challenges, with Covid, Brexit and net zero – coupled with rapid demographic and technological change – set to reshape our economy … Continued

Economy 2030
Labour market

Changing jobs?

How economic change affects the world of work

Thursday 6 January 2022

The labour market has changed substantially over the past 60 years – from fewer factories and more health services, to working with new machines or being replaced by them. In the decade ahead it will change again thanks to Brexit, Covid-19 and the net zero transition. But the relationship between how the labour market as … Continued

Economy 2030
Labour market

Back to the future

What comes next for the UK’s post-pandemic labour market?

Tuesday 23 November 2021

At the onset of the pandemic, there were widespread concerns about catastrophic levels of unemployment in the face of lockdowns. But extending the furlough scheme has kept a lid on unemployment, while the reopening of the economy this summer has sparked a ‘jobs-rush’. As the UK labour market enters a new phase, it is important … Continued

Economy 2030
Economic growth

Open for business?

Assessing the performance of British firms

Monday 15 November 2021

British firms have had a tumultuous decade – from the financial crisis to the Covid-19 pandemic. The 2020s brings new challenges as they grapple with post-Brexit trade and regulatory changes, the net zero transition, and improving the UK’s woeful productivity record. But what is the state of British business as it heads into this decisive … Continued

Economy 2030
Economic growth

Gaining from growth

When the economy grows, do wages?

Wednesday 3 November 2021

While GDP is rarely discussed in the pub, the feedthrough from economic growth to higher wages is central to boosting family living standards. And while both pay and wider economic growth have been in short supply in the UK over the past decade, there is growing unease at the sense that these two crucial measures … Continued

Economy 2030

Trading places

What does Brexit mean for the UK’s economic strategy?

Thursday 14 October 2021

The UK’s political and policy debate on trade has become preoccupied with the nuts and bolts of individual trade deals – some real, some imaginary. Meanwhile bigger questions about the future path of the UK economy post-Brexit are ignored. Trade shapes our economic strengths and weaknesses, the jobs we do, and where we do them. … Continued

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