unemployment

Is any job really better than no job at all?

Until recently it was thought that what affects human happiness is the mere presence or the absence of a job, rather than its kind. But, as Tarani Chandola’s new study shows, people working in poor quality jobs have higher levels of chronic stress than those who are unemployed.

Lord Layard posed the question is “any job is better than no job” […]

Four reasons why welfare reform is a delusion

Reforming the welfare system has been a key aim of British government since 2010. Richard Machin writes that the concept makes no economic sense, it does not produce the outcomes the government is seeking, all while the UK is actually spending less on welfare than countries with comparable economies.

Back in 2010, the coalition government stated that welfare reform is […]

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    How the government keeps underestimating the risk of benefit sanctions to single parents

How the government keeps underestimating the risk of benefit sanctions to single parents

Only a ‘tiny minority’ is affected by benefit sanctions, according to the government. This claim relies on weak data, writes Sumi Rabindrakumar. She looks at the data for single parent sanctions and explains why the risk is not only far greater than suggested, but has also increased compared to a decade ago. So although the government has resisted a […]

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    The case for a European minimum income scheme for jobseekers

The case for a European minimum income scheme for jobseekers

On 13 December, the European Commission put forward a proposal to change the way EU citizens can access social benefits in other EU countries. Cecilia Bruzelius and Martin Seeleib-Kaiser argue that the proposal fails to address key weaknesses in the existing system and should be complemented by a European Minimum Income Scheme that is available to all mobile jobseekers.

The […]

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    Shuffling employment from one area to another? Why the Local Enterprise Growth Initiative didn’t work

Shuffling employment from one area to another? Why the Local Enterprise Growth Initiative didn’t work

Businesses operating in poorer areas often receive direct, or indirect, support from government. Such support, it is hoped, will encourage entrepreneurship, increase employment and may, even, ‘turn around’ struggling areas. This support to business is often part of a wider package of measures as governments  target large amounts of money at areas experiencing high unemployment and poor economic performance. Here, Elias […]

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    A job-creating powerhouse? The way we measure unemployment can lead to misleading conclusions

A job-creating powerhouse? The way we measure unemployment can lead to misleading conclusions

“Our economic plan has helped deliver sharp falls in long-term youth unemployment”, wrote the Conservatives in their 2015 manifesto. But how we measure unemployment, and what we interpret those measures to mean can be misleading, argues Monica Threlfall. She explains that percentages illustrating a proportion of the labour force are often reported as if illustrating a proportion of the […]

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    Paid work is never enough: we need to pay attention to the quality as well as the quantity of jobs created

Paid work is never enough: we need to pay attention to the quality as well as the quantity of jobs created

Getting people into employment will not on its own ensure decent living standards and reduce poverty, finds Peter Taylor-Gooby. His research shows that, while higher employment is associated with lower poverty, other factors are more important. The most important factor in reducing poverty levels across the countries looked at was the strength of contractual rights, and other policies, such as access to […]

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    Half of the regions and nations of the UK still have lower employment rates than they did at the onset of recession

Half of the regions and nations of the UK still have lower employment rates than they did at the onset of recession

Today’s labour market statistics marked a break-even moment, with the working age employment rate going above its pre-recession level for the first time. However, the headline masks a very uneven picture across regions and nations; the ‘jobs gap’ remains in half of these, writes Laura Gardiner. 

Today’s employment statistics mark an important point on the long road to recovery from the historically deep downturn we have […]