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Professor Geraint Johnes

Underemployment figures show labour market slack remains

Authors: Professor Geraint Johnes

25 November 2014

In recent months, we have published a regular series of data on underemployment in the UK - the Bell Blanchflower index. These data have suggested that the extent of underemployment rose markedly during the recession and has remained substantial since. Now the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has released further information on the extent of underemployment. Around 10 per cent of workers employed in the UK are working fewer hours than they want...

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Ian Brinkley

New OECD data reveals public social spending levels remain high in 2014

Authors: Ian Brinkley

24 November 2014

The most recent OECD estimates of public social spending in 2014 – defined as cash benefits to pensioners and the working age population and expenditure on the health and social services – accounted for about 21.7 of UK GDP, just above the OECD average of 21.6 per cent. Moreover, the OECD estimate that public social spending has since 2007 risen by much less in the UK than across the rest of the industrialised world – up 1.6 percentage points in the UK compared with 2.7 percentage points across the OECD.

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Professor Geraint Johnes

The minimum wage and young workers

Authors: Professor Geraint Johnes

19 November 2014

New data have been published today on the incidence of low pay . The figures come from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings and refer to April of each year. Four distinct levels of the national minmum wage are relevant: apprentices in their first year and those aged 16-18 had a minimum wage of £2.68 per hour; for other workers aged 16-17 the minimum wage was £3.72; workers aged 18-20 had a minimum wage of £5.03; and for all other workers the minimum wage was £6.31.

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Professor Geraint Johnes

The latest quarterly data from the Bell-Blanchflower underemployment index

Authors: Professor Geraint Johnes

13 November 2014

The Labour Force Survey for the second quarter of 2014 is now available and allows computation of the Bell-Blanchflower underemployment measure for this period. The time series for this variable, along with comparable data for the unemployment rate, is given in the table and graph below.

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Professor Stephen  Bevan

Government action on health at work long overdue

Authors: Professor Stephen Bevan

12 November 2014

In spite of good news about the UK jobs market, we are still facing a struggle to raise levels of productivity to anything like their pre-crisis levels.Clearly , we need to do more to maximise the skills, engagement and wellbeing of the workforce. The field of wellbeing is where the need is most acute and the potential gains from action are highest as we can forecast what will happen through inaction. This is why we have recently launched The Work Foundation’s Health at Work Policy Unit.

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Professor Geraint Johnes

November Director's Report

Authors: Professor Geraint Johnes

11 November 2014

Low pay is in the news. Between 2010 and 2013, the hourly pay of full-time men at the bottom decile of the wage distribution rose from £7.20 to £7.50 – an increase of some 4.2%. The corresponding figures for women were £6.72 and £7.00 – also representing a 4.2% increase. But over the same period, prices rose by more than 10%, implying a fall of around 6% in real pay.

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Ian Brinkley

Pay, Progression and Productivity: A change of business for a Better Off Britain

Authors: Ian Brinkley

10 November 2014

The recent CBI report 'A Better off Britain' has grabbed the headlines with calls for tax cuts for the low paid and more free child care and for ways to be found to increase pay on a sustainable basis. That would be news in itself - employer organisations are not known for embracing policies more associated with centre - left political parties and trade unions. But the report itself is a remarkable piece of work both in terms of language and the recommendations.

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Lizzie Crowley

More than a job: Why the UK needs to take urgent action

Authors: Lizzie Crowley

07 November 2014

A growing proportion of young people face a bleak future in today’s labour market. Youth unemployment was on the rise before the recession and will not be solved by the recovery alone.

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Kathryn  Ray

Growing support for the Living Wage now needs to be matched by progress on a low pay strategy

Authors: Kathryn Ray Senior Researcher

06 November 2014

The arrival of Living Wage Week 2014 marks a significant improvement in Living Wage coverage. Over 1,000 employers are now Living Wage accredited which is an impressive achievement in just three years since the launch of the Living Wage Foundation. However, the number of employees paid below the Living Wage in 2013 – the latest year of data – has risen to 5.28 million or 22 per cent, according to KPMG research. And while the expansion in business coverage over the last few years has been notable, it remains the case that coverage is primarily confined to large corporations in the financial and legal sectors with relatively small numbers of low paid staff and to charitable and public sector organisations.

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Deborah Gale

Living in the age of no retirement

Authors: Deborah Gale

03 November 2014

The last of the baby boomers turns fifty in 2014. This huge cohort is said to have defined the modern age. Not only have the first teenagers come to an advanced age, they are likewise crossing into a different time to grow old. Unsurprisingly, their retirement experience is also turning out to be very different.

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Professor Geraint Johnes

Will devolving powers to Manchester really stimulate economic development?

Authors: Professor Geraint Johnes

03 November 2014

The Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced that new powers are to be devolved to the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA). The GMCA will gain powers in the areas of policing, planning, transport and housing, and will be required to introduce the post of a directly elected mayor. These powers are modest and do not offer the promise of any real capability to stimulate economic development.

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Ian Brinkley

What is wrong with the average earnings index?

Authors: Ian Brinkley

31 October 2014

The TUC recently organised a seminar looking at why there seemed to be a big discrepancy between settlements data which has been showing median increases of about 2 per cent, and the average weekly earnings (AWE) index which on the latest figures was showing regular pay going up at just 0.7 per cent.

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Ian Brinkley

Women and the Autumn Statement

Authors: Ian Brinkley

23 October 2014

The Treasury has published a briefing note showing the growth in women’s employment since 2010 as background to a series of visits the Chancellor is making to making to gain insights into how the government can do more to support women in work as part of the preparation for the Autumn Statement.

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Damian Walne

Unleashing Metro Growth?

Authors: Damian Walne

22 October 2014

Blog on City Growth Commission

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Ceri Hughes

Does it pay to change employers?

Authors: Ceri Hughes

22 October 2014

Too many workers remain stuck in low-wage work from one year to the next, suggesting that low paid jobs do not function as a route into better paid work for many people. As we noted in our recent report, switching jobs can be one way for workers to increase their earnings and move out of low pay. But frequent job-switching can also have a negative impact on earnings.

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