Document Abstract

Setting the record straight: how record employment has changed the UK

Explores how employment levels in Britain have changed. Analyses Labour Market Statistics from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Notes that in 2018, a decade on from the recession, the employment rate is 75.7% - the highest since comparable records began in 1971. Reviews a decade of unprecedented growth in employment, and examines the effect this has had on the UK labour market. Looks at a number of issues: whether the expansion in the amount of work has come at the expense of job quality; whether the jobs surge has ameliorated or exacerbated geographic divisions; which occupations and industries have grown, and which have declined; and whether record employment has improved prospects for people settled in the UK, or offered opportunities to people willing to move to the UK from abroad. Finds that record employment has been progressive and rising employment has helped support household incomes over the past seven years. Finds that employment growth has brought some of the most disadvantaged groups into employment, has benefited natives as well as migrants, and has been achieved despite an ageing society. Reveals that: London’s outsize contribution is down to population growth; there has been employment rate catch up in urban areas across the country; the last decade has been one of occupational upgrading; and the increase in job quantity has come at the cost of job quality.


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Clarke, Stephen; Cominetti, Nye
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Resolution Foundation

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