Firm foundations

Understanding why employers use flexible contracts

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At the end of 2023, more than one-in-eight (13 per cent) employees in UK were working on some form of flexible contract that can be viewed as ‘precarious’, accounting for 3.8 million workers nationwide. From variable-hours and zero-hours contracts to temporary work such as casual, seasonal or short-term employment, flexible contracts often entail considerable uncertainty … Continued

Back for more?

Putting the 2024 Spring Budget in context

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In this briefing note, we put the decisions in the Spring Budget 2024 in context, discussing how the economic outlook has changed, what that means for the public finances, and how the policy decisions taken at the Budget will affect living standards in both the short and the medium term.

The Election Budget

Spring Budget 2024 preview

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In this slide pack we preview the upcoming Budget, assessing the economic and fiscal outlook ahead of what will be a key pre-election economic-policy event. We focus on the scope for cutting taxes, and the implications of different policy choices, putting the Chancellor’s upcoming decisions in a broader context. We find that, despite near-term bad … Continued

Pressure on pay, prices and properties

How families were faring in October 2023

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Two years into the cost of living crisis, inflation has finally turned a corner. The headline rate of CPI inflation has fallen from its October 2022 peak of 11.1 per cent to 4.6 per cent in October 2023, and the Prime Minister has been able to say that his target of halving inflation in 2023 … Continued

Labour Market Outlook Q4 2023

What’s happening to pay growth?

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Over the course of 2023, the labour market has been gradually cooling on most measures. Even ignoring data from the Labour Force Survey that has recently been called into question, vacancies have been falling for 16 consecutive months and growth in payrolled employment has slowed. But nominal wage growth has remained resilient – even, since … Continued

A pre-election Statement

Putting the Autumn Statement 2023 in context

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In this briefing note, we put the decisions in the 2023 Autumn Statement in context, discussing how the economic outlook has changed, what that means for the public finances, and how the policy decisions taken will affect living standards in both the short and the medium term.

Preparing the pitch

Autumn Statement 2023 preview

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In our Autumn Statement preview slidepack, we assess the economic outlook ahead of Jeremy Hunt’s Autumn Statement on November 22nd, and explore the policy choices facing the Chancellor as inflation drives up tax revenues, and interest rates drive up the cost of government debt. We find that the Chancellor is in difficult terrain: although the … Continued

Putting good work on the table

Reforming labour market institutions to improve pay and conditions

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The UK needs stronger labour market institutions Decent work is a pre-requisite for delivering shared prosperity and improving the lives of the country’s 34-million-strong workforce. In this context, the UK labour market has a number of strengths – from high employment to a national minimum wage that is now among the highest in the world. … Continued

Enforce for good

Effectively enforcing labour market rights in the 2020s and beyond

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This report concludes a four-year work programme at the Resolution Foundation supported by Unbound Philanthropy exploring the what, why and how of labour market enforcement. We bring together data and qualitative analysis with five cross-country studies to show how we could do better in the UK when it comes to enforcing labour market rights.

New Budget, same problems

Spring Budget preview

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In our Spring Budget preview slidepack, we assess the economic outlook ahead of Jeremy Hunt’s Spring Budget on March 15th, and explore the policy choices facing the Chancellor in three key areas: cost-of-living support, public sector pay and boosting growth. We find that there is finally some good news for the Chancellor in the short … Continued

Policing prejudice

Enforcing anti-discrimination laws in the workplace

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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. In it, we investigate the scale and nature of workplace discrimination, and consider how anti-discrimination rules can be enforced to greater effect.

Cover for mini budget analysis, Blowing the Budget

Blowing the budget

Assessing the implications of the September 2022 fiscal statement

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The Chancellor decided to blow the budget in his first fiscal statement, bringing forward a £45 billion package of tax cuts, the biggest for 50 years. In this briefing note, we show that today’s Government is no longer fiscally conservative nor courting the Red Wall. Instead, debt is on course to rise in each and every year of the forecast period, and the focus has shifted to the South of England, where the beneficiaries of these tax cuts are more likely to be living.

Power plays

The shifting balance of employer and worker power in the UK labour market

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This briefing note, part of the Economy 2030 Inquiry, looks at shifts in the balance of worker and employer power in recent decades. It assesses the implications of these shifts for both the level and distribution of wages and highlights worker power as an important part of the UK’s economic strategy in the decade ahead.

Listen up

Individual experiences of work, consumption and society

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What economic strategy should the UK pursue over the next decade, in order both to address long-standing problems in the country (stagnating living standards and high inequality) and to navigate ongoing change (Brexit, net zero transition and a post-pandemic world)? The Economy 2030 Inquiry is a two-year collaboration between the Resolution Foundation and the Centre … Continued

Labour Market Outlook Q1 2022

How should we interpret strong nominal earnings growth?

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In the first months of 2022, the labour market continued to tighten, with no sign of weakening in the aftermath of the JRS. Unemployment has fallen further, and stood at an almost-record low of 3.9 per cent in the three months to January 2022 – and although the Bank of England is concerned about unemployment … Continued

Briefing note cover - living wage uk

Inflation Nation

Putting Spring Statement 2022 in context

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This briefing note provides an assessment of the measures announced in the March 2022 Spring Statement.  The Chancellor approached this with the highest inflation in 40 years and the worst income squeeze on record lying ahead of us.  Against that backdrop, and with plenty of fiscal ammunition (thanks to the Office for Budget Responsibility’s (OBR’s) … Continued

Labour Market Outlook Q4 2021

Wages and the cost of living in 2022

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The final three months of 2021 have been a mixed bag for the pandemic and the labour market. At the end of September, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (JRS) came to an end after 18 months – and the feared rise in unemployment does not seem to have come to pass. But the emergence of … Continued

Begin again?

Assessing the permanent implications of Covid-19 for the UK’s labour market

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Covid-19 has had profound impacts on the way that we work. This report, part of the Economy 2030 Inquiry, considers recent labour market developments with an eye on the longer-term changes, and the resulting challenges for policy makers over the rest of this decade.

No shame, no gain?

The role of reputation in labour market 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. In it, we combine qualitative and quantitative research to explore how powerfully reputational concerns determine firms’ behaviour when it comes to worker rights, and whether policy makers could leverage firms’ worries about their public profile … Continued

Labour Market Outlook Q3 2021

Prospects for unemployment after the Job Retention Scheme

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As the economy has continued to reopen over the summer, the labour market has continued to surprise on the upside. After peaking at 5.2 per cent in Q4 2020, the headline unemployment rate has continued to fall, reaching 4.7 per cent in Q2 2021 – and timelier, though more volatile, single-month data has the unemployment … Continued

Understanding the labour market: pandemic not pandemonium

The labour market is normalising, not overheating

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The mild euphoria phase of the economic commentary cycle has arrived somewhat earlier than after previous downturns. This is a big change from the excessive pessimism of late 2020. According to some, we have “eye popping growth” to look forward to as “Brexit Britain Booms”. For the labour market, this turn to optimism has seen … Continued

Labour Market Outlook Q2 2021

Q2 2021

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As Covid-19 restrictions begin to ease and more sectors begin to reopen, there are positive signs of recovery in the labour market. The number of payrolled employees has begun to increase (although it is still 700,000 lower than it was in early 2020); furlough rates are falling; and vacancies have recovered to pre-crisis levels. Despite … Continued

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