By reducing levels of both unemployment and inactivity among the working-age population, policies designed to increase the employment rate could help to raise the incomes of low-income households, and ease the burden on the tax and benefit system. Adopting full employment as a goal also presents opportunities to address both regional inequalities and those associated with gender and disability, and to enable more people to access the paid work which is vital for a sense of social identity, participation and wellbeing in modern society.
This report briefly reviews employment policy and outcomes in the UK, and developments in the labour force, throughout the postwar period. It then considers the potential benefits of full employment for individuals, families and the state - and the potential trade-offs between employment on the one hand and inflation, real wages and productivity on the other - before finally setting out a vision of what full employment might look like, and how it should be defined.
Snakes and ladders: Tackling precarity in social security and employment supportAcross the country, people are trying to make ends meet, build financial security and pursue their aspirations. But, in a vicious cycle of snakes and ladders, many are being pulled down into poverty.
Making markets: The City's role in industrial strategyTo tackle climate change, we need a significant increase in public and private capital investment.
Broken hearted: A spotlight paper on cardiovascular diseaseProgress on cardiovascular disease was a significant driver of better health and prosperity in the latter half of the 20th century, however progress has recently stalled – with indications it may be in reverse.