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

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

Dead-end relationship?

Exploring the link between productivity and workers’ living standards

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Summary The strength of the relationship between productivity growth and median pay growth – and what it means for the way in which the gains from economic growth are shared across the workforce – has been questioned in recent years, with evidence of a ‘decoupling’ of the two across a number of advanced economies. Such … Continued

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

Ain’t no minimum high enough

Minimum wage policy in the 2019 General Election

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Summary Minimum wage increases since 2015 delivered a £3bn pay boost to low-paid workers last year – highlighting the benefits of cross-party consensus over a more ambitious wage floor. Both main parties are right to propose plans for an even higher wage floor, but should proceed carefully, and be prepared to change course if needed. … Continued

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.

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.

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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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.

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.

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.

Opportunities Knocked? Exploring pay penalties among the UK’s ethnic minorities

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Over the past two decades ethnic minority groups have made substantial gains in relation to education and employment. But in spite of this progress, large pay gaps remain: even after accounting for education, occupation and other key factors, black male graduates are on average paid 17 per cent less than their white male counterparts; Pakistani/Bangladeshi non-graduate men are paid 14% less.

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