‘Poorest account for over half of recent increase in employment’

People in the poorest third of households have accounted for over half of the increase in employment since the start of the financial crisis, according to new analysis from the Resolution Foundation.

Cut out wooden people in a rowd, one is blue


The analysis shows that of the 2.1 million increase in employment between 2008-09 and 2016-17, the biggest contribution has come from lower income households.

Employment across the bottom third of households has increased by over 1.2 million since the crisis. Those in the middle third have experienced the smallest employment gains (360,000), while those in the top third account for  540,000 of the increase.

The Foundation cautions that while employment has provided a major living standards boost since the crisis, widespread insecurity has been a big setback with around 800,000 workers currently on zero hours contracts. It adds that Britain’s impressive jobs record contrasts with its poor performance on pay, with real average earnings still £13 a week lower than they were a decade ago.

The analysis shows that employment growth over the last decade has also particularly helped those who have traditionally struggled to find work. Ethnic minority workers have accounted for 47 per cent of the increase in employment, those with low-level qualifications accounting for 43 per cent and those with disabilities 32 per cent.

The Foundation says that targeted support to help groups such as those with a disability or ill health into work will hold the key to Britain genuinely reaching full employment. It adds that this approach has had a positive impact on single parents with the number of single parents in employment rising from 51 per cent in 2003 to 67 per cent last year.

Stephen Clarke, Senior Economic Analyst at the Resolution Foundation, said: “While employment is at a record high, Britain is still some way off full employment and too much work remains low paid and insecure. With fewer than half of people with a disability or ill-health currently in work, targeted support for these groups holds the key to achieving further employment progress.

“Steps to provide advance notice of shifts and a right to a regular contract for those working regular hours on a zero hour contract would also help those in work who have precious little job security.”


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