Labour Market
The closure of the original job retention scheme (CJRS) at the end of October is focusing attention again on the prospects for unemployment. A "top down" approach (based on GDP) suggests that UK unemployment could rise to more than 3 million, or 10% of the workforce. But a less pessimistic "bottom up" approach suggests it ... Continue reading
Labour Market
Last week, the High Pay Centre and Autonomy released a report calling for the introduction of a national maximum wage. It received favourable coverage in the left-wing press (e.g. here and here), but the Daily Mail seemed surprisingly sympathetic too. As is nearly always the case with crude anti-liberal, anti-capitalist policies, the public already loves it: in an accompanying Survation poll, an absolute majority ... Continue reading
Research
Summary Following the Covid-19 lockdown, the UK labour market faces much higher unemployment and reductions in labour force participation as some groups withdraw from the labour market. Measures such as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the Self-employment Income Support Scheme served a useful purpose, but governments cannot keep businesses on life support indefinitely. Job ... Continue reading
Labour Market
Research published by UCL Institute of Education last week concluded that boys’ academic ambition at GCSE level – higher than girls’ according to its survey – could explain the “gender pay gap”. So goes the logic: boys are more likely than girls to say they plan to attend an elite institution, driven and ambitious young ... Continue reading
Labour Market
Pension auto-enrolment was one of the early significant policies arising from the government’s “nudge unit”. The argument was that employees suffer from inertia and therefore do not save as much as they would rationally like to. Enrolling employees in a pension scheme and then allowing them to opt out, it was suggested, would lead to ... Continue reading
Labour Market
Millions of jobs will be seen to have been lost and thousands of businesses destroyed once furloughing is ended. In preparing for emergence from lockdown, our aim must be to make it as easy as possible for existing businesses to revive and new businesses to start up – and to encourage them to take on as ... Continue reading
Economic Theory
Three months ago the UK labour market was doing better than at any time in recent memory, with record numbers in employment and very high labour force participation, while the unemployment rate was at its lowest since 1974. Now, however, we face a grim prospect. We have 7.5 million furloughed on the Coronavirus Job Retention ... Continue reading
Many key workers, mainly but not exclusively in the NHS, are running significant risks of being infected with the Covid-19 virus. We have already seen many tragic cases of doctors, nurses, care workers, bus drivers and other key workers dying from this awful disease. There have been understandable calls from unions and others for the ... Continue reading
The continuing lockdown is going to have a devastating effect on the livelihood of many groups in the population. Attention has focused on younger groups, particularly those with low incomes or in areas, such as retailing, hotels and accommodation and bars and restaurants, which will be slow to recover from the coming downturn. Understandably, very ... Continue reading
Research

Why we can't all work from home

In recent years there has been a trend towards greater incidence of homeworking. This has been driven by enhanced technological possibilities, but also by supply and demand factors as employers try to save on office costs and workers seek to reduce travelling time and have a different work-life balance. There is some evidence that homeworking ... Continue reading