A new settlement for the low paid

Beyond the minimum wage to dignity and respect

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This crisis is shared, but its burden is not. From health risks to job losses, it is the UK’s 4.2 million low-paid workers on whom this pandemic has imposed the greatest cost, and of whom the efforts to combat it have required the greatest sacrifice. Lower earners are three times as likely to have lost … Continued

Coping with housing costs during the coronavirus crisis

Flash findings from the Resolution Foundation’s coronavirus survey

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Many (including us) have speculated about how families may be managing their housing costs during the coronavirus crisis. In this spotlight we move from conjecture to firm evidence, presenting findings from our new survey of UK working-age adults on levels of housing stress, and how families in different housing tenures are coping. We find that … Continued

Public finances under pressure

Lessons for policy makers from April’s public finance figures

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April’s Public Sector Finances data capture the first full month of the coronavirus lockdown and provide a sobering reminder of the fiscal costs of the pandemic. Public sector net borrowing was £62.1 billion last month, the highest level ever recorded and nearly three time higher than the last record of £22 billion in April 2012. … Continued

Young workers in the coronavirus crisis

Findings from the Resolution Foundation’s coronavirus survey

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The coronavirus crisis is expected to hit workers hard, with evidence from previous crises indicating that the young are likely to be affected to a greater degree than most. In this spotlight we move from speculation to evidence, presenting new findings on how different age groups – and in particular the young – have been … Continued

The effects of the coronavirus crisis on workers

Flash findings from the Resolution Foundation’s coronavirus survey

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The coronavirus crisis has hit workers hard: the numbers of those furloughed and those newly claiming Universal Credit illustrates the scale. To date, however, we have had very limited information about which types of people have been most affected. In this spotlight, we begin to fill this gap with flash findings from the Resolution Foundation’s … Continued

Getting Britain working (safely) again

The next phase of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

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The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (JRS) has been a major public policy success. The unprecedented step of paying 80 per cent of the wages for 6.3 million jobs has made it possible to ask people to stay at home to save lives. This paper explores how the JRS should evolve as restrictions on activity are … Continued

Optimism in a time of coronavirus

While undoubtedly gloomy, today’s Monetary Policy and Financial Stability Reports from the Bank of England envisage little lasting damage to the economy or financial system

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Today the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee provided its first major assessment of the impact of coronavirus on the economy. The MPC envisage growth this year to be the weakest in over 300 years, with a fall of 25 per cent expected in the second quarter, and a fall of 14 per cent for … Continued

Class of 2020

Education leavers in the current crisis

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The economic fallout from the coronavirus has taken the UK into uncharted territory, with fears that an additional 640,000 18-24-year-olds could find themselves unemployed this year alone. This briefing note focuses specifically on the prospects facing young people leaving full-time education today, highlighting the size and length of employment and pay scarring that they could … Continued

Risky business

Economic impacts of the coronavirus crisis on different groups of workers

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The coronavirus crisis has affected everyone. Everyone’s health is at risk and to combat the disease, working lives have been altered across the country. But some are affected more than others: the relationship between the kind of job people have and their exposure to big economic or health risks in this crisis is by no … Continued

Launching an economic lifeboat

The impact of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

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Summary Today marks the opening of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (JRS), a scheme entirely without precedent in the UK.    Its primary objective is to share the economic pain of this crisis by keeping unemployment much lower than it otherwise would have been. Indeed, although we estimate that non-working could increase by as much … Continued

What happens after the clapping finishes?

The pay, terms and conditions we choose for our care workers

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The nation has rightly come together in the current crisis to express support for our care workers. But how do we normally treat the social care workforce? Due to both long-standing and nearer-term decisions and trends, frontline care workers are: underpaid, with around half earning less than the real Living Wage; particularly vulnerable to being … Continued

Doing more of what it takes

Next steps in the economic response to coronavirus

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The Government has responded to coronavirus by shutting down large parts of the UK economy, and socialising the costs of doing so through a package of fiscal support to firms and individuals unprecedented in size and scope. Given uncertainty about how long public health restrictions will need to be in place, economic policy makers need to be prepared to manage what could … Continued

Crystal balls vs rear-view mirrors

The UK labour market after coronavirus

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Summary Sudden and significant hits to the UK labour market in recent weeks have shown that this will be a jobs recession. The focus has rightly been on how to respond to the huge numbers of people losing work, but policy makers and pundits are also beginning to ask what this crisis could mean for … Continued

No work, no pay

Supporting unemployed people through coronavirus

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This recession is a labour market recession, with the public health response to coronavirus swiftly shutting down employment-heavy sectors of the economy. Although the Government has rightly committed billions of pounds to support employers, encourage retention and bail out the self-employed, it is inevitable that unemployment will rise. For those who lose their job or … Continued

Earnings Outlook Q4 2019

How should minimum wage policy respond to the current economic crisis?

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Usually in the Earnings Outlook we summarise the latest developments in pay and employment and use these to look forwards, with the trends moving slowly enough that the lag in our data is not too much of a problem. But with so much having changed so quickly, our normal indicators now serve as a guide … Continued

Helicopters on standby?

With rates at all-time lows, the Bank of England needs a different playbook for this crisis

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With a big recession on the way, the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee would normally be unveiling measures to support the economy today, and this piece would be discussing what they’ve done. But we are not in normal times. Instead, the Bank of England does not have the option of cutting rates in the … Continued

Safeguarding governments’ financial health during coronavirus

What can policymakers learn from past viral outbreaks?

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In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, governments have taken unprecedented steps to protect the health of their citizens and support their economies. They now need to take extraordinary steps to safeguard their own financial health through what could be a protracted period of economic disruption necessary to contain and eradicate the virus. This paper … Continued

Next steps to support family incomes in the face of the coronavirus crisis

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The Government has set out an unprecedented package of support for family incomes, including paying 80 per cent of the wages of employees who currently have no work, via its Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. Delivering that scheme should be the top priority, given its crucial role in preventing a very steep rise in unemployment and … Continued

Doing what it takes

Protecting firms and families from the economic impact of coronavirus

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The coronavirus health crisis is now a full-blown economic crisis, and one that may last for much more than a few months. Firms will go bust and unemployment will rise. The majority of this economic damage will be driven not by the direct impact of coronavirus itself, but by the necessary measures – such as social distancing – that we put in place to respond to it.

Spring Budget 2020 response

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Britain’s new Chancellor gave the country a big Budget, combining a larger-than-expected response to coronavirus with a resetting of the Government and Conservative party’s approach to managing the public finances. A large appetite for increasing public spending has been combined with far less appetite to raise taxes. The result is a Conservative Chancellor now planning … Continued

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