Earnings Outlook Q4 2019

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

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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 times they aren’t a-changin’

Why working hours have stopped falling in London and the UK

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For the typical British adult, paid work takes up more time than any other activity save sleep. How many hours someone works per week is important both for their family’s income and for the way they live their lives. Over the past 200 years average working hours have gradually declined, so that the typical worker … Continued

Never ever

Exploring the increase in people who’ve never had a paid job

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This briefing note explores why, despite record-high employment, the proportion of working-age adults who have never had a paid job has increased, pointing to a reduction in ‘earning while learning’ as a key driver.

More than we bargain for

Learning from new debates on how institutions can improve worker pay and security in Anglo-Saxon economies

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The UK’s tight labour market is delivering improvements for many, but big challenges remain that current policies and debates aren’t yet rising to meet. The UK can learn from emerging discussions and policy innovations in other Anglo-Saxon economies.

From rights to reality

Enforcing labour market laws in the UK

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Today’s labour market looks nothing like it did even a decade ago. With more women in the workplace than ever before, the decline of key sectors such as retail and manufacturing and the rise of self-employment, who works, where we work and the ways that we work have all changed significantly over time. Laws and … Continued

Mapping millennials’ living standards

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Intergenerational progress – the idea that each successive cohort should have higher living standards than predecessors at the same age – has slowed down markedly for today’s young adults. This puts their experience in stark contrast to the rapid cohort-on-cohort improvements in standards of living up until those born in the 1970s. Because many people … Continued

Atypical approaches: Options to support workers with insecure incomes

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There has been much debate about the certainty of income that atypical work provides, and whether the rights of workers are being consistently upheld. This report explores these issues, looking beyond a minimum wage premium, at how other high-income countries have sought to reduce one-sided flexibility in the labour market.

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.

Time for time-and-a-half? Exploring the evidence and policy options on overtime

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Our quarterly earnings outlook, for 2017 Q2. Our ‘Spotlight’ piece looks at why a supposedly tight labour market is not delivering higher wage growth. We suggest this is down to the contribution of the inactive population, who are providing a bigger boost to effective supply than it has historically.

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

The minimum required? Minimum wages and the self-employed

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The minimum wage revolutionised the lower end of the UK’s labour market, protecting employees from exploitation. But the self-employed – now one in seven of the workforce – are not entitled to the minimum wage. With growing concerns over their earnings and conditions, particularly in the so-called gig economy, extending the minimum wage to some … Continued

Study, Work, Progress, Repeat? How and why pay and progression outcomes have differed across cohorts

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This paper is the fifth report for the Intergenerational Commission, which was launched in the summer of 2016 to explore questions of intergenerational fairness that are currently rising up the agenda and make recommendations for repairing the intergenerational social contract. It attempts to understand the concerning finding that millennials who have entered work so far … Continued

A tough gig? The nature of self-employment in 21st Century Britain and policy implications

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This Resolution Foundation analysis looks at the recent growth in self-employment. It focuses on: the sectoral make-up of the UK’s 5 million self-employed workers; the drivers of this growth since the recession; how the self-employed are treated differently in terms of tax and employment rights; and what policy challenges this raises. Key findings: Nearly 60 … Continued

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