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.

Economy 2030

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.

Economy 2030

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

Economy 2030

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

Double trouble

Exploring the labour market and mental health impact of Covid-19 on young people

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This report marks the beginning of a three-year programme of research at the Resolution Foundation investigating the relationship between the labour market and mental health outcomes of young people. In this launch paper, we focus on how young people have fared throughout the pandemic period when it comes to work and mental health.

Earnings Outlook Q1 2021

Earnings in the Covid-19 crisis

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The UK has spent the first quarter of 2021 under renewed restrictions to slow the spread of Covid-19. As the third England-wide lockdown began in January, many businesses were forced to close once again, and the number of jobs furloughed through the Job Retention Scheme (JRS) rose to 4.8 million. There is growing light at … Continued

Spending fast, taxing slow

Resolution Foundation analysis of Budget 2021

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This briefing note provides an assessment of the measures announced in the March 2021 Budget. The context for this Budget was an intensification of the Covid-19 pandemic, creating a need for further policy measures to support families and firms in the months before the completion of the vaccine rollout. In response, the Chancellor announced significant … Continued

Long Covid in the labour market

The impact on the labour market of Covid-19 a year into the crisis, and how to secure a strong recovery

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This is the third time we have written a report taking stock of the impact of the virus on the labour market. Nine months on from our first report in June last year, some things are similar. The health effects of the second wave may be starting to recede, and thoughts are again turning to … Continued

Earnings Outlook Q4 2020

Public sector pay

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As we come to the end of a year like no other, the outlook for the labour market remains mixed. At the beginning of this month, the second national lockdown came to an end, non-essential retail and hospitality businesses (in most of the country) were allowed to reopen, and recent weeks have brought official approval … Continued

Here today, gone tomorrow

Putting Spending Review 2020 into context

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This briefing note provides an assessment of the measures announced in the November 2020 Spending Review. The backdrop to that Review was the reality of an on-going health crisis and a huge hit to the economy which looks set to leave lasting damage to both household and public finances. In response, the Chancellor has ramped up coronavirus spending this … Continued

Failed safe?

Enforcing workplace health and safety in the age of Covid-19

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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. Using a new survey of 6,000-plus UK working-age adults fielded in September this year, and administrative data from the enforcement agencies themselves, we explore how workers, employers and the regulators have responded to the threat … Continued

Jobs, jobs, jobs

Evaluating the effects of the current economic crisis on the UK labour market

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This report highlights which groups of workers have struggled the most as the coronavirus crisis has evolved, who is at risk as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is replaced by the Job Support Scheme, and the prospects for the future.

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

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

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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