The times they aren’t a-changin’

Why working hours have stopped falling in London and the UK

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For the typical British adult, paid work takes up more time than any other activity save sleep. How many hours someone works per week is important both for their family’s income and for the way they live their lives. Over the past 200 years average working hours have gradually declined, so that the typical worker … Continued

Dead-end relationship?

Exploring the link between productivity and workers’ living standards

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Summary The strength of the relationship between productivity growth and median pay growth – and what it means for the way in which the gains from economic growth are shared across the workforce – has been questioned in recent years, with evidence of a ‘decoupling’ of the two across a number of advanced economies. Such … Continued

An outstanding balance?

Inequalities in the use – and burden – of consumer credit in the UK

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As the 2010s drew to a close, both policymakers and the press raised concerns about rising levels of UK household debt, with some warning it could soon bring about the next recession. Although household debt levels remain high in absolute terms, when compared against total household income they are substantially below levels reached during the … Continued

The beginning of the end… …but not the end of the beginning

Governor Carney’s valedictory speech discusses the future of the UK’s monetary policy remit – but this is just the start of an important debate

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The beginning of the end… After several false starts, the appointment of his successor (Andrew Bailey) means Mark Carney finally has a leaving date (15 March). He can now concentrate on the serious business of organising his leaving parties securing his legacy from his longer-than-expected time as Bank of England Governor. That all started yesterday … Continued

Under the wage floor

Exploring firms’ incentives to comply with the minimum wage

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This briefing note explores the incentives for firms to comply with the National Living Wage/National Minimum Wage (NLW/NMW). It documents the penalties that firms are subject to; estimates underpaying firms’ rate of detection; and shows that even if detection rates were significantly increased, they would need to go hand-in-hand with higher financial penalties to provide firms with a hard economic incentive to comply with the NLW/NMW.

Never ever

Exploring the increase in people who’ve never had a paid job

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This briefing note explores why, despite record-high employment, the proportion of working-age adults who have never had a paid job has increased, pointing to a reduction in ‘earning while learning’ as a key driver.

The Resolution Foundation Earnings Outlook Q3 2019

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Unlike our politics, 2019 was a year of strength and stability in the labour market – a year when employment reached and stayed at record highs and pay growth neared pre-recession levels. The most recent set of labour market data (for the three months to October) underlined this – the 16-64 employment rate ticked up … Continued

Political parties and elections

Election 2019

Our analysis to date

During elections, political parties set out their vision and priorities for the country over the next five years. The Resolution Foundation has published a series of reports assessing the shape of the state, and exploring the main parties’ plans on housing, tax and spend, and fiscal policy. Read more using the links below, or download our … Continued

Incomes
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Pensions & savings
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Inequality & poverty
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Wealth & assets
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Political parties and elections

Who owns all the pie?

The size and distribution of Britain’s £14.6 trillion of wealth

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While incomes have stagnated over the past decade, our national wealth has continued to boom. Data released today put UK households collective wealth at £14.6 trillion. But that total is far from equally distributed: the richest 10 per cent of households own almost half of the nation’s wealth having benefitted most from the recent wealth … Continued

Intergenerational Centre
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Political parties and elections

Bridging divides?

Analysing the 2019 general election from a generational perspective

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This spotlight article looks at the 2019 general election from a generational perspective. Age has become increasingly important for party choice over recent decades, with the Brexit vote turbo-charging these differences. At the same time, Britain’s demographic divergence means that the average ages of constituencies are growing apart. Parties may be able to capitalise on … Continued

Housing
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Political parties and elections

Streets apart

An analysis of manifesto commitments on housing

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Clear positions are one thing – but polarisation is another. While the former help us make informed choices at elections, the latter bodes ill for policy continuity over the long term. If there is one policy domain that particularly benefits from cross-party consensus it is housing, with its long lead-in times and decisions that are … Continued

Playing by their own rules?

We analyse whether the policy platforms announced by the main parties are consistent with their own fiscal rules

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Fiscal rules are crucial for the government’s stewardship of the public finances and framing its economic priorities. So it is welcome that the main parties have prioritised setting out the rules they would follow, with their announcements following to different degrees the approach recommended by earlier Resolution Foundation work. But fiscal rules are only useful … Continued

Social care
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Universal Credit
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Fiscal policy
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Welfare
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Political parties and elections

The shifting shape of social security

Charting the changing size and shape of the British welfare system

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Voters face a stark choice in the 2019 election about the social security system they want. This report examines how the provision of social security in Britain has changed; the big trends that current social security policy needs to take account of; and the policy offer from our three main political parties.

Economy and public finances
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Political parties and elections

Oven-ready, safety-first

Assessing the Conservatives' 2019 manifesto

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Summary Brexit is happening, but big tax cuts aren’t. That’s the short version of the already fairly short Conservative Manifesto. This manifesto does not tell us much about what the Conservatives would do after 31st January 2020, but it does confirm the country faces a big choice in this election on the size of the … Continued

Political parties and elections

Doubling down on a bigger state

Assessing Labour’s 2019 manifesto

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Summary Labour have doubled down on plans to increase the size of the state, and their ambitious spending pledges have been matched by ambitious revenue-raising plans. There is now a very big choice facing the country on the size of the state it wants, and how it should be funded. Their manifesto also builds on … Continued

Labour market
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Low pay
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Pay
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Minimum wage
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Living Wage

Ain’t no minimum high enough

Minimum wage policy in the 2019 General Election

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Summary Minimum wage increases since 2015 delivered a £3bn pay boost to low-paid workers last year – highlighting the benefits of cross-party consensus over a more ambitious wage floor. Both main parties are right to propose plans for an even higher wage floor, but should proceed carefully, and be prepared to change course if needed. … Continued

More than we bargain for

Learning from new debates on how institutions can improve worker pay and security in Anglo-Saxon economies

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The UK’s tight labour market is delivering improvements for many, but big challenges remain that current policies and debates aren’t yet rising to meet. The UK can learn from emerging discussions and policy innovations in other Anglo-Saxon economies.

Inequality street

Housing and the 2019 general election

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Political parties’ housing policies need to tackle the reasons for the public’s heightened concern about housing: low home ownership rates, high housing costs and the burden of high costs falling particularly on those with lower incomes.

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