Sorting it out

The Chancellor moves to fix the Job Support Scheme

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The Chancellor has sharply, and rightly, changed course to make Job Support Scheme (JSS) a functioning short-time work scheme, addressing its central flaw. Slashing the share of wages for hours not worked that employers must pay from 33 to just 5 per cent will make a big different to the cost of using the scheme. … Continued

Back to the furlough

U-turn to retain furlough scheme in closed sectors paves way for fresh lockdowns

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The short-lived attempt to set economic policy as if we were leaving the pandemic behind us is over, with the Government announcing that it will pay two-thirds of wages of employees in firms forced to close because of national or local restrictions. This will provide much needed support, saving many jobs in the hospitality and … Continued

Safe harbour?

Six key welfare policy decisions to navigate this winter

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Despite the new Job Support Scheme, unemployment is set to rise substantially through the autumn and winter, as the Job Retention Scheme ends and the hospitality sector adjusts to new restrictions. This means many more individuals will soon be dependent on the social security system; and as the economy moves into the next phase of … Continued

Death by £1000 cuts?

The history, economics and politics of cutting benefits for millions of households next April

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The first Conservative Conference of a new parliament begins. It comes on the back of a surprisingly emphatic election win, but with rumblings beginning about the Chancellor’s plan to take £1,000 away from millions of low-income households in just six months’ time. At that conference it is George Osborne, not Rishi Sunak, that gets up … Continued

The Winter (Economy Plan) is coming

Chancellor ramps economic support back up, but avoidable design flaws will limit its success in stemming the Autumn rise in unemployment

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Economic policy yesterday caught back up with the ramping back up of social distancing restrictions by the Prime Minister earlier in the week. The Chancellor rightly announced new measures rather than sticking to plans to phase out help for workers and firms.   His most significant policy was the Job Support Scheme (JSS), an extended, … Continued

Final furlough?

Six months on from the start of the Job Retention Scheme

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At its peak in early May the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (JRS) was supporting 8.9 million jobs. As the economy has opened up in recent months take-up of the scheme has been falling, to 4.8 million by 31 July. Of these, 3.5 million (over 10 per cent of private sector employees) were still furloughed in … Continued

All together now?

The impacts of the Government’s coronavirus income support schemes across the age distribution

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This note looks at how policies to protect household incomes in the pandemic – the coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (JRS), the self-employment income support scheme (SEISS), and a significant boost to social security benefits – have been felt across different age groups during the first months of the crisis.

Under water

How big will the negative equity crisis be, and who is at risk, in the aftermath of the coronavirus crisis?

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This report for the Resolution Foundation’s Intergenerational Centre focuses on two big questions: what is the likely scale of the possible low equity problem in the aftermath of the coronavirus crisis; and who is likely to be affected? First, the report shows that the scale of the possible low equity problem looks set to be … Continued

Enrol up!

The case for strengthening auto-enrolment enforcement

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This briefing note is part of a three-year programme of research exploring labour market enforcement generously funded by Unbound Philanthropy. It considers the extent of non-compliance with auto-enrolment, and whether there are ‘under-enrolment’ hotspots that require closer scrutiny. We estimate that around 3 per cent of eligible employees are not enrolled in a pension scheme … Continued

Can training help workers change their stripes?

Retraining and career change in the UK

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The coronavirus crisis has already brought significant disruption to the UK labour market, particularly in sectors that offer in-person services like hospitality, entertainment and retail. There are fears that as the Government’s temporary support measures wind down, many more adults could soon be out of work. The Government will need to consider adult education and … Continued

Housing Outlook Q3 2020

House prices in recessions

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Welcome to Housing Outlook Q3 2020. In this edition we examine how house prices have behaved in previous recessions, and look set to adjust to the coronavirus crisis. While some might see anticipated house price falls as a potential opportunity for young people to get onto the housing ladder, the Office for Budget Responsibility’s house … Continued

The Government is not paying nine million people’s wages

The number of people currently furloughed is less than half this amount

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From today, employers will start contributing towards the wage costs of furloughed employees. This significant first step in the phasing-out of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (JRS) carries real risks of increased redundancies – particularly for those in the hardest-hit sectors – and so attention should also focus on the important question of just how … Continued

The time of your life

Time use in London and the UK over the past 40 years

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Few things in life are equal, but each day every one of us has 24 hours of time to use. How  time is best spent has been the subject of an active public debate in recent years, and this question has been thrown still further into the limelight by the disruptions of the coronavirus pandemic. … Continued

The truth will out

Understanding labour market statistics during the coronavirus crisis

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Labour market statistics matter. In normal times, they offer a snapshot on how household living standards are faring, and in recessions they also provide a key measure of how serious a crisis we face. Because the current coronavirus crisis is rooted in the labour market, even more attention is being paid to the monthly labour … Continued

Earnings Outlook Q1 2020

What we know about how employee earnings have fared in the current crisis

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Since we last produced an Earnings Outlook (at the end of March) some things have become clearer. The scale of the impact of the current crisis is as big as was feared. This was already apparent then from the soaring claims for Universal Credit, but has since been confirmed by the 300-year-record fall in GDP, … Continued

Act now, or pay later

The OBR’s Fiscal Sustainability Report makes clear the implications of a crisis-driven rise in unemployment for the public finances

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The OBR’s latest Fiscal Sustainability Report confirms its view that the current crisis could lead to the largest economic contraction in 300 years precipitating a return of unemployment levels not since the 1980s. Given the huge uncertainty, the OBR has produced three scenarios with different assumption about a timetable for finding a vaccine or other … Continued

Time with the kids

How parents’ time use has changed during the pandemic

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Many aspects of people’s time use have been turned upside down by the coronavirus lockdown. Some restrictions are now being unwound, but others, like limits on the availability of professional childcare, will continue, with particular consequences for how parents of different genders use their time. Indeed, data collected during the lockdown suggests that while job … Continued

Summer Economic Update July 2020

Resolution Foundation overnight analysis

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This was not a Budget, but was still a big deal with £30bn of measures to support the economy. This is particularly significant when seen in combination with £160bn of pandemic-related support already announced, leaving borrowing this year on course to reach £350bn. Debt interest costs will continue to fall, although the crisis will leave … Continued

Lockdown living

Housing quality across the generations

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For three months, the majority of the population has ‘stayed home to save lives’, bringing the quality of our housing stock and neighbourhoods into sharp relief. In this briefing note, we explore how long-term housing trends have resulted in significant gaps between generations when it comes to living conditions. As we face the prospect of further local or national lockdowns going into the winter months, we argue the inequalities we uncover demand attention from policy makers more than ever before.

The Full Monty

Facing up to the challenge of the coronavirus labour market crisis

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The coronavirus crisis has had a severe impact on the country’s health, but also its economy and the labour market with it. With activity across parts of the economy heavily restricted, the Job Retention Scheme saved millions of jobs, firms and incomes. But as the country moves from lockdown into a new, reopening phase of … Continued

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