Four of a kind

Analysis of trade union membership statistics

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The Covid-19 labour market shock has changed many things, but one little-noticed pre-pandemic trend has continued: a steady increase in trade union membership. Over the past year the number of employees who are members of unions has increased by 118,000. This is the fourth year in a row in which membership has increased among employees. … 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

Earnings Outlook Q1 2021

Earnings in the Covid-19 crisis

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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

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

Ethnic minorities in the hospitality sector

Comparing the experiences of hospitality workers from different ethnic backgrounds

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This briefing note looks at the experiences in the hospitality sector of workers from different ethnic backgrounds. It finds that 1 in 6 hospitality workers are from an ethnic minority background, compared to around 1 in 8 workers in the rest of the economy. Ethnic minority workers in hospitality vary both in their characteristics and … Continued

Time out

Reforming Statutory Sick Pay to support the Covid-19 recovery phase

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In a pandemic, sick pay should play a crucial public health role, as well as providing income protection. But the UK’s Statutory Sick Pay is low by international standards, and misses out two million of our lowest-paid workers. Evidence suggests that this contributes to the low level of compliance with the legal obligation to self-isolate … 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.

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

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

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

Local differences

Responding to the local economic impact of coronavirus

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Britain’s jobs crisis has hit every part of the country hard. At a headline regional level, job loss and furloughing has been fairly evenly spread. But increases in unemployment-related benefit claims have been larger in areas that started out with higher claimant rates, with this especially true when we focus at a more local level. … Continued

The effects of the coronavirus crisis on workers

Flash findings from the Resolution Foundation’s coronavirus survey

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The coronavirus crisis has hit workers hard: the numbers of those furloughed and those newly claiming Universal Credit illustrates the scale. To date, however, we have had very limited information about which types of people have been most affected. In this spotlight, we begin to fill this gap with flash findings from the Resolution Foundation’s … Continued

Getting Britain working (safely) again

The next phase of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

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The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (JRS) has been a major public policy success. The unprecedented step of paying 80 per cent of the wages for 6.3 million jobs has made it possible to ask people to stay at home to save lives. This paper explores how the JRS should evolve as restrictions on activity are … Continued

Risky business

Economic impacts of the coronavirus crisis on different groups of workers

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The coronavirus crisis has affected everyone. Everyone’s health is at risk and to combat the disease, working lives have been altered across the country. But some are affected more than others: the relationship between the kind of job people have and their exposure to big economic or health risks in this crisis is by no … Continued

Launching an economic lifeboat

The impact of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

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Summary Today marks the opening of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (JRS), a scheme entirely without precedent in the UK.    Its primary objective is to share the economic pain of this crisis by keeping unemployment much lower than it otherwise would have been. Indeed, although we estimate that non-working could increase by as much … Continued

What happens after the clapping finishes?

The pay, terms and conditions we choose for our care workers

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The nation has rightly come together in the current crisis to express support for our care workers. But how do we normally treat the social care workforce? Due to both long-standing and nearer-term decisions and trends, frontline care workers are: underpaid, with around half earning less than the real Living Wage; particularly vulnerable to being … Continued

Crystal balls vs rear-view mirrors

The UK labour market after coronavirus

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Summary Sudden and significant hits to the UK labour market in recent weeks have shown that this will be a jobs recession. The focus has rightly been on how to respond to the huge numbers of people losing work, but policy makers and pundits are also beginning to ask what this crisis could mean for … Continued

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.

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