Productivity & industrial strategy
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Pay
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Economic growth

Follow the money

Exploring the link between UK growth and workers’ pay packets

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This briefing note unpicks the relationship between productivity and pay growth, looking at a variety of factors that influence pay growth for different groups of employees in the UK – from trends in the labour share to terms of trade movements, and from the role of employer pension contributions to the impact of changes in working patterns.

Inequality & poverty
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Wealth & assets
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Scotland

Taking stock

Report for the Scottish Poverty and Inequality Commission

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There has been a growing appreciation in recent years that living standards are determined not just by income (the flow of money into a household) but also by wealth (the stock of assets a household owns). Wealth can take various forms: it can be held in financial instruments (for example, a savings account or as … Continued

Living standards
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Inequality & poverty
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Cities and regions

Mapping gaps

Geographic inequality in productivity and living standards

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Regional inequality is a hot topic, particularly since the EU referendum exposed huge voting divides between London, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and the rest of the UK. This report examines the relative economic performance of UK regions and nations since the 1960s, and the extent to which this has driven differences in household living standards.

Firms
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Labour market
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Productivity & industrial strategy
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Economic growth

Sorry, we’re closed: Understanding the impact of retail’s decline on people and places

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Headlines about shop closures might give the impression that retail’s decline is a recent phenomenon, but retail’s share of employment has been falling for 15 years. This report digs behind this long-run trend, driven by changes in what we spend and how we spend it, and focuses in on what really matters when it comes to economic change: people and places.

Counting the cost: UK living standards since the 2016 referendum

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Household incomes are around £1,500 year lower today than they were expected to be before the Brexit referendum – with the UK having experienced the sharpest income growth slowdown of any economy for which the OECD publish data. This note focuses on the UK’s recent economic performance, going beyond the usual focus on GDP to look at the impact on household living standards across the UK.

Living standards
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Cities and regions

London Stalling: Half a century of living standards in London

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London’s post-crisis recovery has been similar to that of the rest of the country, in good and bad terms.The city now has an employment rate in line with the UK average but productivity and pay growth have both been sluggish. Where London is unique is that it has a number of looming problems – demographic change, high living costs and inequality – which make the city a particularly challenging place for those on low-incomes.

Cross countries: international comparisons of intergenerational trends

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Public concerns about young people’s living standards are shared across high-income countries. This report compares the UK’s generational living standards challenges with those of other high-income economies, focusing on trends in household income and experiences in the labour and housing markets.

Jobs
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Firms
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Labour market
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Quality and security

Choices, choices… Why do firms use agency workers?

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With the number of agency workers on the up, this piece of research explores why firms use this contingent type of labour rather than directly employed staff. We show that the majority of firms that make use of agency workers still hire them primarily as ‘stop-gaps’,. However, one-third of such firms take a more strategic approach, taking an active business decision to hire agency workers either extensively or exclusively for certain roles.

Productivity & industrial strategy
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Technological change
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Economic growth

Don’t believe the hype: work, robots, history

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Technology, and resistance to it, in major economic sectors like warehousing has been around longer than we think. We’ve been talking about the past, present and future of our workplaces well beyond recent memory. Don’t believe the hype: our historical memories are extremely fickle.

Jobs
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Labour market
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Quality and security
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Low pay
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Pay
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Cities and regions

‘A-typical’ working day in Greater Manchester

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Greater Manchester has experienced a growth in ‘a-typical’ work in recent years, with implications for pay and progression. In this briefing, we explore the labour market performance of Greater Manchester over recent years, comparing it to other city regions over time.

Changing Lanes: The impact of different post-Brexit trading policies on the cost of living

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The issue of trade has returned to the frontline of British policy making and politics for the first time in 40 years, but little has been said about what the impact of changes in the UK’s trade regime could be on living standards. This paper aims to fill that gap by looking at what impact two “no deal” Brexit scenarios could have on prices and living standards.

Living standards
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Firms
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Productivity & industrial strategy
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Cities and regions
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Economic growth

A rising tide lifts all boats? Advanced industries and their impact upon living standards

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Policy makers in Westminster, devolved administrations, cities and local authorities struggle with many of the same challenges. Encouraging economic growth is vital but so too is ensuring the prosperity created is evenly shared. After a long absence, industrial strategy is back on the agenda as a way of providing this inclusive growth. The cornerstone of … Continued

Jobs
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Labour market
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Quality and security
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Skills
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Brexit & trade
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Migration

Work in Brexit Britain: reshaping the nation’s labour market

Almost a year after voting to leave the European Union the negotiations for the UK’s departure began on 19th June 2017. Those negotiations and the exact nature of the agreements they lead to will dominate British politics and policy making for the years ahead, but making a success of Brexit Britain is about far more … Continued

Living standards
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Cities and regions

A western union: living standards and devolution in the West of England

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This May, voters in the West of England elect a Metro Mayor, with new powers over transport, skills and welfare-to-work policies, as well as the chance to bring economic leadership to their area. The area – comprising Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol and South Gloucestershire – has outperformed most other city regions on a … Continued

Living standards
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Globalisation
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Welfare

You’re hired! Lessons for President Trump from a comparison of living standards and inequality in the US and the UK

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This report sets out how, despite moving in step politically of late, the US and the UK economies have had somewhat different economic experiences since the financial crisis. The most notable divergence is on employment – the issue that President Trump put at the front and centre of his economic pitch to voters. As the … Continued

Living standards
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Productivity & industrial strategy
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Cities and regions

Forging ahead or falling behind? Devolution and the future of living standards in the Sheffield City Region

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This report outlines some of the key living standards facing the Sheffield City Region. Worryingly the delay to devolution means that local leaders will have fewer powers than their counterparts elsewhere to address these. As a result it is important for the current impasse in the devolution process to be resolved. Assuming that that the shape … Continued

Living standards
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Productivity & industrial strategy
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Cities and regions

Midlands engine trouble: The challenges facing the West Midlands Combined Authority

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In May 2017, residents of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) will go to the polls to elect its first ‘Metro Mayor’. The WMCA – comprising Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall and Wolverhampton councils – is also at the heart of the government’s wider ‘Midlands Engine’, which aims to boost the economy of this … Continued

Living standards
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Productivity & industrial strategy
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Cities and regions

New Order: devolution and the future of living standards in Greater Manchester

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In May 2017 Greater Manchester will go to the polls to elect the region’s first ‘Metro Mayor’. Greater Manchester has been at the forefront of the current programme of devolution and the new mayor will wield more power than any other city leader. However, it will be on the results of how this power is … Continued

Living standards
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Economy and public finances
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Globalisation
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Political parties and elections

In the swing of things: what does Donald Trump’s victory tell us about America?

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Post-election analysis has highlighted the importance of demographic, economic and cultural factors in the US election result. In this slide pack we consider why different parts of America voted as they did. We look across 93 per cent (2,932 of 3,143) of US counties spread across 46 states including the 11 battleground states. We test … Continued

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