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

The Covid state

Analysis of the economy and public finances ahead of the 2020 Spending Review

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The Chancellor is set to unveil his Spending Review against a radically changed economic and fiscal backdrop to the one he faced in March. Although unemployment is set to peak lower and later than had been expected back in the Summer, the long-term economic scarring from this crisis is set to be significant. The OBR’s … Continued

Caught in a (Covid) trap

Incomes, savings and spending through the coronavirus crisis

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In this briefing note we examine how the family finances of working-age adults have been affected since Covid-19 gripped the nation this spring. Drawing on new data from a representative survey of 6,000-plus working-age adults fielded in mid-September, we take a close look at how incomes, spending and saving changed during both the lockdown (April … Continued

Unhealthy finances

How to support the economy today and repair the public finances tomorrow

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This report provides analysis of the dual challenges faced by the government: ensuring that there is sufficient fiscal support through the crisis and recovery, and setting fiscal policy on a sustainable long-term path. Some argue it is unsustainable to provide the massive government support during the crisis, while others see little constraint on government borrowing … Continued

The Bank of England’s options for supporting the economy

Lessons from the US

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Ahead of this week’s Monetary Policy Committee meeting, we discuss what recent changes to how US policy makers approach setting interest rates might tell us about what additional support the Bank of England could provide in the face of a second national lockdown. The most important change was the introduction of a ‘flexible average inflation … Continued

Wake me up when November ends

The economic outlook amid Lockdown II

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We’ve got less than 48 hours until a second national lockdown in England begins, and who knows how long until it comes to an end. Pubs, hotels, and hairdressers’ doors will close again across England – as they have been in Wales since 23 October – with the significant tightening of restrictions representing the final … 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

Coping with housing costs, six months on…

New findings from the Resolution Foundation's Covid-19 study - wave two

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In this spotlight, we use results from a new Resolution Foundation/Health Foundation survey to explore the impact that housing costs are having on living standards as the COVID-19 crisis continues to unfold. Despite some improvements in the labour market since the spring, housing costs continue to be a serious concern for many households as they … 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.

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

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

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 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

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