COVID-19 impacts on destitution in the UK

We use microsimulation combined with a model of the COVID-19 impacts on individuals and households to obtain projections of households in destitution in the United Kingdom. The projections are estimated at two levels: aggregate quarterly for the UK, for all quarters of 2020; and annual for 2020 differentiated by region, sector and household demographics. At the aggregate level, destitution is projected to be about three times higher than the non-COVID counterfactual level in 2020Q2, as well as substantially higher than the non-COVID case for the remainder of the year.

Some recent developments in labour economics

This article takes a short personal ‘helicopter ride’ over the main policy issues in the UK labour market, putting them into the context of the developments which have taken place in applied econometrics. We overview NIESR’s role in the study of labour economics in postwar Britain and review some recent advances of importance in the current NIESR research agenda.

Notes and Contributions: The lack of wage growth and the falling NAIRU

In this note, we argue that a considerable part of the explanation for the benign wage growth in the advanced world is the rise in underemployment. In the years after 2008 the unemployment rate understates labour market slack. Underemployment is more important than unemployment in explaining the weakness of wage growth in the UK. The Phillips curve in the UK has now to be rewritten into wage underemployment space. Underemployment now enters wage equations while the unemployment rate does not. There is every reason to believe that the NAIRU has fallen sharply since the Great Recession.

Underemployment and the lack of wage pressure in the UK (Notes and Contributions, National Institute Economic Review February 2018)

In this note, we focus on underemployment as a potential cause of lower wage growth, which itself may have deeper causes, but which has, we would argue, demonstrably changed since the 2008 recession. The gap between our measures of the number of additional hours required by those who want more hours and the number who want less has narrowed recently. Neither have returned to their pre-recession levels. In our view, underemployment remains a major factor in explaining the 2 per cent wage norm that continues to exist in the UK.

How thinking and acting local can help the long-term unemployed

When we think of welfare to work schemes we picture job centres, the Work Programme and providers such as A4E and Ingeus. We think of media representations of jobcentres,  through television sitcoms such as The Job Lot or the League of Gentleman's dispiriting job club run by the cruel pen-fetishist Pauline.