Productivity is a low pay issue too

When politicians talk about the need to raise economic productivity, its often in the context of infrastructure investment and boosting high productivity sectors (finance, engineering, biotech etc). However our low pay sectors are so large that productivity improvements there could not only have macroeconomic consequences but do a lot for other policy objectives such as poverty alleviation. I’m delighted that my recent research report on these issues for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation is picked up in today’s Guardian.

National Living Wage – where will the job cuts come?

Working with the Centre for London, we published some analysis today that showed London is more likely to be able to absorb the new National Living Wage for over-25s when it is introduced next April, without causing job losses. But since the OBR estimates 60,000 job losses across the county as a whole, this prompts the question – where will they come?

Wealth of our nation – new research

Jointly with Ashwin Kumar I’ve today published a Smith Institute discussion paper that explores the new Wealth and Assets data to see how the wealth distribution alters across UK households over time. It shows the inextricable link between housing and overall wealth distribution, the importance of dealing with consumer indebtedness and highlights how many people who receive inheritances do so at exactly the time when they need it the least.

It includes a typology of wealth that was one of the highest-read FT blogs and there was a news comment in the Daily Telegraph as well.

Pay progression – new insights on barriers faced by the lowest paid

Our company, Tooley Street Research, has today published an innovative new piece of data analysis and qualitative research exploring the characteristics of people who find it hard over time to progress beyond 20 per cent above the minimum wage. We were commissioned by CiPD and John Lewis Partnership and the report is available here on the CiPD website: Pay progression: Understanding the barriers for the lowest paid.

It was also referenced in a piece in yesterday’s FT (Public sector cuts worsen low-pay trap 21st October 2014)

Key results are the vulnerability of part-time workers, and in particular those with children of pre-school age. In practice this means that women who are on low wages working part-time are much more likely to be “stuck” there.

Venturing forth: increasing high value entrepreneurship

Today sees the publication of a research report by the Social Market Foundation think-tank that I jointly authored with the SMF’s chief economist, Nida Broughton. The culmination of two years work, it argues that there is a latent supply of entrepreneurs in Britain that could potentially have significant economic impact if they are supported to make the transition out of traditional employment. Based on original new research with potential entrepreneurs it argues that government should reform employment laws to enable people to try out new business ideas whilst still retaining links with their former employers in case they need to return, with corresponding benefits for employers. Here’s the link and here’s a blog summarising it