Labour Market Outlook Q2 2021

Q2 2021


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

Earnings Outlook Q1 2021

Earnings in the Covid-19 crisis


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

Earnings Outlook Q4 2020

Public sector pay


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

Earnings Outlook
Living Wage

Earnings Outlook Q2 2020

Back in lockdown


As England enters its second lockdown the outlook for the labour market is as uncertain as at any point during the crisis (Wales and Northern Ireland are already in a second period of lockdown or tough restrictions, and restrictions in Scotland were increased a week ago). The story of recent weeks has been an accelerating … Continued

Earnings Outlook Q1 2020

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


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

Earnings Outlook Q4 2019

How should minimum wage policy respond to the current economic crisis?


Usually in the Earnings Outlook we summarise the latest developments in pay and employment and use these to look forwards, with the trends moving slowly enough that the lag in our data is not too much of a problem. But with so much having changed so quickly, our normal indicators now serve as a guide … Continued

The RF Earnings Outlook Q4 2016


This Earnings Outlook looks at the final quarter of labour market data for 2016. Most importantly, inflation has risen rapidly in recent months, weighing heavily on real pay growth – though published pay statistics will take some time to fully reflect this. Indeed, our ‘Spotlight’ article notes that real pay in the public sector has … Continued

The RF Earnings Outlook Q4 2015


In terms of measured jobs market performance and the broader earnings picture, the key recent change has been a gloomier view on productivity, due both to poor Q4 outturns and in particular the downward forecast revisions at last month’s Budget. The productivity disappointment has been mirrored in more muted real average weekly earnings growth. The latest … Continued

The RF Earnings Outlook Q3 2015


The publication last month of the most reliable and comprehensive source on earnings presented a more muted picture of the early stages of the pay recovery than the more timely monthly series had indicated. More encouraging was the information below the headlines, particularly the fact that the recovery was strongest among the lowest earners. In … Continued

The RF Earnings Outlook Q2 2015


Recent instalments of labour market data have painted a picture of steady but unspectacular growth in nominal wages, combined with zero inflation, producing real average weekly earnings growth above the pre-crisis trend. Labour productivity has started to rise but is essentially unchanged from its 2008 level, fuelling concerns that the pay recovery may prove short-lived … Continued

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