A steady job? The UK’s record on labour market security and stability since the millennium

Paul Gregg, Laura Gardiner

Research output: Book/ReportOther report


Just seven years after the start of what turned into the most sustained
economic downturn in living memory, the UK’s headline employment rate
stands at an historic high. So remarkable has been the resilience of the labour
market during this downturn and the pace of the subsequent jobs recovery
that ‘full employment’ has returned to the top of the political agenda.
Impressive though the headline data is, critics argue that much of the surge in
employment has been at the cost of job quality. In part this argument reflects
the extremely poor performance of pay and productivity since the crisis, but
it also relates to a sense that job insecurity is rising for many workers.
Understanding the extent to which this criticism is fair – have we sacrificed
quality for quantity? – is likely to be central to the renewed focus on full
employment. That’s because, with labour market slack diminishing as the
economy strengthens, pushing employment higher still is likely to require
not just creating opportunities for the unemployed to move into work
but also bringing significant numbers of economically inactive adults into
the workforce. Achieving this will in no small part depend on whether the
available jobs are of sufficient quality to prove attractive to those who are
further away from work.
The story on pay is well-established but other aspects of job quality are less
routinely measured. Therefore, in this note we return to some commonlyused
broad measures of job security and stability, in particular to understand
developments over the past two decades and how experiences have differed
across genders and the generations.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon, U. K.
PublisherResolution Foundation
Commissioning bodyResolution Foundation
Number of pages33
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jul 2015


  • Job Stability


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