An intergenerational audit for the UK

2021

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Our third Intergenerational Audit – supported by the Nuffield Foundation –  provides an analysis of economic living standards across generations in Britain. In so doing, it analyses the latest data across four domains: Jobs, skills and pay Housing costs and security Taxes, benefits and household incomes Wealth and assets In each of these domains, we … 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

After shocks

Financial resilience before and during the Covid-19 crisis

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This report provides some of the first evidence on how the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on households has differed across countries. It studies the living standards-related factors that contribute to financial resilience (or the lack of it) both before and during Covid-19 in the UK, France and Germany. Overall, we find that pre-crisis vulnerabilities … Continued

Uneven steps

Changes in youth unemployment and study since the onset of Covid-19

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In order to reduce the spread of Covid-19, and thereby save lives, large sectors of the UK economy were temporarily shut down during parts of 2020 and 2021. Although unemployment rose by less than anticipated during this period, with the unemployment rate among people aged 16 and older rising by just over one percentage point … 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

Home and away

The UK labour market in a post-Brexit world

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This briefing note considers a number of ways in which the labour market could be affected as the UK moves to a tighter, post-Brexit immigration regime in January 2021. Under the new rules, legal avenues for low-skilled migrant workers to enter the UK will be more restrictively drawn, with implications for firms, resident foreign-born workers … 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.

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

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

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

Trading up or trading off?

Understanding recent changes to England’s apprenticeships system

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In 2017 there was overhaul to the apprenticeships system in England: large firms were required to pay 0.5 per cent of their wage bill into an apprenticeship levy, while regulations on training and delivery were firmed up. Two years on, this briefing note takes stock of the system, looking at what’s changed, why and where … 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

Low Pay Britain 2019

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This is our ninth annual report on low pay. This edition focuses on the minimum wage, which recently turned 20. It analyses the extent to which the minimum wage has reduced the proportion of the working-age population in low pay. It also looks to the future, asking how fast the minimum wage can boost wages for the lowest earners while managing the inevitable risks to employment.

Pick up the pace: the slowdown in educational attainment growth and its widespread effects

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This paper highlights that while improvements to the country’s human capital stock have been driven by increasingly educated cohorts of young people flowing into the labour market, the pace of growth in young people’s educational attainment has more than halved since the start of the 21st century. This ‘slowdown’ brings with it worrying implications for productivity and living standards.

Opportunities Knocked? Exploring pay penalties among the UK’s ethnic minorities

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Over the past two decades ethnic minority groups have made substantial gains in relation to education and employment. But in spite of this progress, large pay gaps remain: even after accounting for education, occupation and other key factors, black male graduates are on average paid 17 per cent less than their white male counterparts; Pakistani/Bangladeshi non-graduate men are paid 14% less.

Technical Fault: Options for promoting human capital growth

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This is the 20th paper for the Intergenerational Commission, focused on the pace of and inequality within education attainment. It proposes a ‘twin-track’ approach to reforming the skills landscape in order to restart generational progress on human capital: both ‘fixing’ the technical (non-A level/university) education offer for future generations of young people, and providing additional support for those lower-qualified young adults who have already left school.

Up to the job? Using the Apprenticeship Levy to tackle the UK’s post-16 education divide

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Over the past twenty years there has been a significant rise in educational attainment in Britain: while the proportion of young people with low-level qualifications halved between 1996 and 2016, the proportion of those with qualifications at degree level and above more than doubled. Homing in on different types of qualifications, we see that growth … Continued

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