Wednesday 30 November 2022

Clocking in and out

Is choice or circumstance driving part-time work among low earners?

Working hours, not just hourly pay rates, are a key determinant of living standards. Historically, men have tended to work more paid hours than women, with working hours for both sexes increasing substantially between the ages of 18 and 25. But over recent decades these trends appear to be weakening, with increasing numbers of young people – and particularly men – choosing to work fewer hours. Working fewer hours can be seen as a result of a positive consequences of rising pay. But equally, combining low hours with low pay can have very negative consequences for people’s living standards and wider inequality.

How many young people are underemployed today compared to recent decades? To what extent are changes in underemployment due to people’s changing preferences around work? How concerned should policymakers be about this trend? And what are the potential long-term impacts of lower working hours on people and the wider labour market?

The Resolution Foundation is hosting an event to debate and discuss these questions. Following a presentation of the Foundation’s analysis, using quantitative analysis and focus groups, funded by the Health Foundation, we will hear from leading experts on the implications of working low hours for young people’s futures.

The event will be open for people to physically attend, alongside being broadcast via YouTube and the Resolution Foundation website. Viewers will be able to submit questions to the panel before and during the event via Slido.