A think-tank report examined the policy implications of the increase in self-employment in the United Kingdom, and discussed the balance of power between government and freelance workers. The report made recommendations, including for the reduction of 'red tape', to review the self-employment 'test' (for taxation purposes), for better protections against loss of earnings, for changes to government procurement processes, and for provisions regarding savings and pensions.
Source: Duncan O'Leary, Going It Alone, Demos
A paper examined the causes of unemployment in six European Union member states (United Kingdom, Ireland, Spain, Germany, Italy, and Latvia). It said that structural changes in important sectors, such as construction and various public sector activities, were the main explanation for differing levels of employment in the six countries.
Source: Martin Myant and Agnieszka Piasna, Why Have Some Countries Become More Unemployed Than Others? An investigation of changes in unemployment in EU member states since 2008, European Trade Union Institute
An article examined whether the 2008 economic crisis had led to major changes in work and employment conditions in the United Kingdom.
Source: Duncan Gallie, Alan Felstead, Francis Green, and Hande Inanc, 'The quality of work in Britain over the economic crisis', International Review of Sociology, Volume 24 Issue 2
A report examined the effects of large-scale economic/labour market restructuring at regional level in Europe, drawing on Europe-wide data and case studies from Germany, France, Italy, Sweden, and Slovenia.
Source: Irene Mandl and John Hurley, Effects of Restructuring at Regional Level and Approaches to Dealing with the Consequences, European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions
A new book examined media, policy, and political discourses around the graduate labour market in Britain, arguing that the assumptions made by many policymakers and media outlets regarding graduate work, skills, and occupations were no longer valid within the changing educational and labour market contexts.
Source: Gerbrand Tholen, The Changing Nature of the Graduate Labour Market: Media, policy and political discourses in the UK, Palgrave Pivot
A paper examined recent economic and labour market developments in Scotland, and the future outlook for the country, including the principal short and long-term labour market challenges and opportunities. The paper discussed key Scottish Government priorities, and argued that Scottish independence would provide greater opportunity to build a new economic framework.
Source: Unlocking Scotland's Full Potential: Boosting skills, wages, equality and growth, Scottish Government
A special issue of a journal examined the impact of austerity policies adopted in European Union member states on municipal public sector employment, and the ways in which collective bargaining and employee participation were attempting to address the consequences for employees. Articles covered Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the European Union.
Source: Transfer: European Review of Labour and Research, Volume 20 Number 3
Links: Table of contents
Notes: Articles included:
Peter Leisink and Stephen Bach, 'Economic crisis and municipal public service employment: comparing developments in seven EU member states'
Stephen Bach and Alexandra Stroleny, 'Restructuring UK local government employment relations: pay determination and employee participation in tough times'
Richard Pond and Christine Jakob, 'Countering European economic policies through meaningful European social dialogue on local and regional government'
A report examined how the changes to benefits systems during the economic crisis in Europe had affected children. It said that the crisis had deeply affected public spending, and that the percentage of children living in poverty or social exclusion had risen in several member states during the crisis, in part due to changes in the system of social protection, but also owing to families' increased risk of unemployment and income reduction. It said that in spite of some deterioration of child and family policies and services, recent reforms and measures across member states aimed to protect vulnerable families, including (according to an OECD report) policies in the United Kingdom.
Source: Barbara Janta and Marie-Louise Henham, Social Protection During the Economic Crisis: How do changes to benefits systems affect children?, RR-555, DG Employment, European Union
A report examined the possibilities for full employment in the United Kingdom. It examined: which areas and groups benefited most from economic growth before the recession; the impacts, for different areas and groups, of the recession and any recovery; and what steps might be taken to ensure that future growth in employment could be shared equitably. The report raised particular concerns about the prospects for young people who were not in full-time education, or had low level or no qualifications, and made a range of recommendations, including for targeted employment and support programmes.
Source: Tony Wilson and Paul Bivand, Equitable Full Employment: Delivering a jobs recovery for all, Trades Union Congress
An article examined whether the well-being cost of unemployment was higher in individualistic countries and among people with more individualistic orientations, drawing on the European Values Study for 42 European countries. The results confirmed that in Europe individualism correlated with a higher well-being cost of unemployment. Specifically, the relationship between unemployment and well-being was said to be moderated by the family support norm and its effect size was substantial, similar to the effect of country unemployment rate.
Source: Malgorzata Mikucka, 'Does individualistic culture lower the well-being of the unemployed? Evidence from Europe', Journal of Happiness Studies, Volume 15 Number 3
See also: Malgorzata Mikucka, Unemployment and Well-Being in Europe: The effect of country unemployment rate, work ethics and family ties, Working Paper 2011/014, Centre for Population, Poverty and Public Policy Studies (CEPS/INSTEAD)
A think-tank report examined the rise of self-employment in the United Kingdom, its characteristics and working patterns, and the financial security of the self-employed compared with that of employees. It said that the growth in self-employment had pre-dated the economic downturn, but an important part of the growth was due to cyclical factors. The report said that a greater share of people who had left unemployment had moved into self-employment since the recession than previously, with self-employment appearing to play differing roles across the country. The report said that self-employed people typically earned 40 per cent less than the typical employee, with self-employed weekly earnings 20 per cent lower than in 2006-07 (compared with a 6 per cent fall for employees), and only 30 per cent of self-employed people contributing to a pension (compared with 51 per cent of employees). It said that a minority of self-employed people reported having difficulties getting mortgages, tenancies, and personal credit, specifically due to being self-employed.
Source: Conor D'Arcy and Laura Gardiner, Just the Job – or a Working Compromise? The changing nature of self employment in the UK, Resolution Foundation
A report examined the causes of London's high youth unemployment rate. It examined which groups of young people found it most difficult to find work; the variation in outcomes for school-leavers and young people from ethnic minorities; the geography of youth unemployment in London; and the impact of wider labour market dynamics. The report made recommendations.
Source: Ceri Hughes and Lizzie Crowley, London: A tale of two cities – addressing the youth employment challenge, Work Foundation
A study examined undeclared work across the European Union (defined as activity that was lawful as regards its nature but not declared to public authorities). The report said that around one in ten Europeans (11 per cent) had acquired goods or services in the past year where they had good reason to believe it involved undeclared work, and one in twenty five (4 per cent) had carried out undeclared paid activities, apart from regular employment, in the past year. The report also examined people's perceptions of risk regarding discovery and sanctions.
Source: Undeclared Work in the European Union, European Commission
A report examined the geography of youth employment prospects across the United Kingdom, and considered the case for tailored local approaches, and the role of local partners in addressing youth unemployment. It said that there was a distinctive geographic pattern, with unemployment in the highest areas (such as Middlesbrough, Barnsley, and Glasgow) more than twice that of the lowest (Southampton, York, and Reading). The report made policy recommendations.
Source: Lizzie Crowley and Nye Cominetti, The Geography of Youth Unemployment: A route map for change, Work Foundation
A report by a committee of peers said that youth unemployment was one of the most urgent problems facing Europe, having been exacerbated by the economic crisis. It said that responsibility for action rested primarily with member states, but the European Union could add value by encouraging the exchange of good practice between member states, by supporting them to co-ordinate their responses, and by kick-starting structural changes. It also discussed the performance of the Youth Guarantee and Youth Contract. The report called for a range of measures, including: a combination of support for immediate action and for action to address longer term structural and systemic issues in the European labour market; for changes to the existing system of managing EU funding in England, with Local Enterprise Partnerships and their partner local authorities given sufficient control of funds in order to identify, plan, manage, and deliver local schemes; and for meaningful consultation of young people in the development and implementation of programmes.
Source: Youth Unemployment in the EU: A scarred generation?, 12th Report (Session 201314), HL 164, House of Lords European Union Select Committee, TSO
A report examined the extent of youth unemployment and underemployment in England and Wales. It said that the scale of the problem was hidden because official figures did not account for those young people working part-time, or who were working in jobs for which they were over qualified. The report called for policy-makers and service providers to: develop targeted measures to address long-term unemployment; incentivize employers to offer apprenticeships; develop more joined-up service provision; work to resolve skills mismatches; and support career progression for young people.
Source: Laura Gardiner, Totalling the Hidden Talent: Youth unemployment and underemployment in England and Wales, Centre for Economic and Social Inclusion/Local Government Association
A report provided an overview of working conditions, job quality, workers' health, and job sustainability in the accommodation sector across Europe, drawing on data from the European Working Conditions Survey and Eurostat.
Source: Accommodation Sector: Working conditions and job quality, European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions
An article presented a four-item job insecurity scale for European countries. It said the scale could be considered as a 'valid and reliable' instrument to measure job insecurity, and could be used to make meaningful comparisons across countries. It might also be utilized to assess how job insecurity was related to outcomes.
Source: Tinne Vander Elst, Hans De Witte, and Nele De Cuyper, 'The job insecurity scale: a psychometric evaluation across five European countries', European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, Volume 23 Issue 3
An article examined cross-country differences in over- and under-employment in Europe, focusing on the growth of part-time work. The spread of part-time work had resulted in a downward adaptation of 'descriptive norms' regulating work hours. The article noted that, initially, women had used part-time work to solve the work-family conflict and the increase of part-time work among women with children had increased its acceptance among women and men, as it allowed paid work to be combined with education and care. A larger share of part-time work in a country was said to be associated with stronger preferences among full-time workers to reduce work hours, and the preference to reduce work hours spread among full-time working mothers, and from mothers to other full-time working women and men. It said that preferences to increase working hours among part-time workers were more driven by the level of prosperity of the country.
Source: Rudi Wielers, Maria Munderlein, and Ferry Koster, 'Part-time work and work hour preferences: an international comparison', European Sociological Review, Volume 30 Number 1
A report examined trends in public sector employment in the United Kingdom. It said that the public sector workforce stood at around 5.7 million in mid-2013, just under 20 per cent of total employment, and that further forecast cuts would reduce the proportion to 14.8 per cent. It said that levels of public sector employment varied across regions, and that those areas with the largest reductions in public employment were not seeing the strongest growth in private sector employment. It noted the shift of jobs from public to private sector providers and the implications of further cuts for the gender balance of the workforce.
Source: Jonathan Cribb, Richard Disney, and Luke Sibieta, The Public Sector Workforce: Past, present and future, Institute for Fiscal Studies
An article examined the impact of public sector employment on local labour markets, using English data at the local authority level for 2003-2007. Public sector employment had no identifiable effect on total private sector employment. However, it did affect the sectoral composition of the private sector. Each additional public sector job created 0.5 jobs in the non-tradable sector (construction and services) while 'crowding' out 0.4 jobs in the tradable sector (manufacturing). When using data for a longer time period (1999-2007) there was a net crowding out for total private sector employment.
Source: Giulia Faggio and Henry Overman, 'The effect of public sector employment on local labour markets', Journal of Urban Economics, Volume 79
A report examined employment trends in the English regions. It said that, in spite of the numbers of people in work having increased since mid-2010, the likelihood of being in work had fallen in four regions. The report also looked at overall workforce trends over the previous twenty years and said that the United Kingdom's working age population had grown by nearly four million in that time. The report called on the government to do more to ensure evenness of job growth across the country.
Source: Economic Report: The labour market in the regions of England, Trades Union Congress