Jobs
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Labour market
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Quality and security

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

Living standards
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Jobs
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Demographics
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Pay
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Intergenerational Centre

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

Labour market
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Skills
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Apprenticeships

Trading up or trading off?

Understanding recent changes to England’s apprenticeships system

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In 2017 there was overhaul to the apprenticeships system in England: large firms were required to pay 0.5 per cent of their wage bill into an apprenticeship levy, while regulations on training and delivery were firmed up. Two years on, this briefing note takes stock of the system, looking at what’s changed, why and where … Continued

Earnings Outlook
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Labour market
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Pay
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Minimum wage

Earnings Outlook Q1 2019

In our latest quarterly Earnings Outlook, we focus on two of the biggest changes to the UK labour market over the past two decades – rising self-employment (from 3.4 million in 1999 to 5 million today) and the introduction and ramping up of the legal minimum wage (from £3.60 in 1999 to £8.21 today) – … Continued

Moving matters

Housing costs and labour market mobility

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Moving matters for living standards. Taking a new job in a different firm has a larger pay uplift
than simply being promoted , and moving to a more
productive area comes with an even bigger pay premium. In this note we look at why young people are moving jobs and homes less than in the past, and explore the extent to which diverging housing costs lies behind this trend.

Labour market
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Low pay
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Pay
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Minimum wage
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Living Wage

Low Pay Britain 2019

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This is our ninth annual report on low pay. This edition focuses on the minimum wage, which recently turned 20. It analyses the extent to which the minimum wage has reduced the proportion of the working-age population in low pay. It also looks to the future, asking how fast the minimum wage can boost wages for the lowest earners while managing the inevitable risks to employment.

Labour market
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Skills

Pick up the pace: the slowdown in educational attainment growth and its widespread effects

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This paper highlights that while improvements to the country’s human capital stock have been driven by increasingly educated cohorts of young people flowing into the labour market, the pace of growth in young people’s educational attainment has more than halved since the start of the 21st century. This ‘slowdown’ brings with it worrying implications for productivity and 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.

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

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.

Labour market
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Quality and security
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Universal Credit
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Pay

Irregular Payments: Assessing the breadth and depth of month to month earnings volatility

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This research addresses the question of earnings volatility, unearthing striking findings about the lived experience of work – and the pay we receive for it – in the UK today. This report makes use of anonymised transaction data from over seven million Lloyds Banking Group (LBG) accounts in order to demonstrate the breadth and depth of changes in pay from month to month.

Earnings Outlook
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Labour market
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Pay

The RF Earnings Outlook Q1 2018

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Our quarterly earnings outlook, for Q1 2018. The outlook explores whether the current pace of wage growth is as good as it gets. Despite signs of improvement, annual growth in weekly wages is almost 1.5 percentage points lower than the pre-crisis average.

Technical Fault: Options for promoting human capital growth

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This is the 20th paper for the Intergenerational Commission, focused on the pace of and inequality within education attainment. It proposes a ‘twin-track’ approach to reforming the skills landscape in order to restart generational progress on human capital: both ‘fixing’ the technical (non-A level/university) education offer for future generations of young people, and providing additional support for those lower-qualified young adults who have already left school.

Earnings Outlook
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Labour market
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Pay

The RF Earnings Outlook Q4 2017

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In Q4 2017 the pay squeeze for that year looked set to dissipate and employment rates continued to rise. But, taking a longer view, weaker than expected productivity growth suggests that the outlook for real pay growth is likely to remain subdued.

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.

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