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Routes to full employment: scenarios and impacts Priority

business and industry , economy , employment , jobs , training and skills


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This project will make the case for a return to full employment as a national priority and a necessary foundation for any strategy to raise living standards and secure the public finances.

High levels of unemployment are first and foremost a human disaster for the individuals and families concerned, cutting incomes and damaging future employment prospects. But it also has major implications for the national economic picture, reducing the tax take, driving up the benefits bill, limiting output and lowering demand.

The project will start by examining the most appropriate definition of full employment for contemporary Britain, exploring the case for full employment and assessing the potential trade-offs against other economic and social goals. We will then map out what it would take to achieve full employment in the UK and analyse the potential impacts on household incomes and the public finances. The project will finish by considering the big challenges – economic, political and institutional – that will need to be addressed to reach the goal of full employment, drawing on historical and international evidence.

This project is generously supported by PCG and the TUC.