Full employment: are we nearly there yet?

13th Nov 2017

This briefing examines why full employment matters for poverty in the UK, and makes recommendations for what should be included in the Government’s full employment target.

Last year’s Welfare Reform and Work Act committed the Government to report annually on progress towards ‘full employment’. There is no commonly-accepted definition of full employment, so in its first report, the Department for Work and Pensions will be telling us exactly what the full employment target means.

In this briefing, Dave Innes argues that we must go beyond the headlines when thinking about full employment, finding that:

  • One in 10 workers are 'underemployed';
  • 5.3% of the working-age workforce would like to be working but are not represented in the unemployment figures; and
  • There is substantial variation in employment rates by disability status, region and ethnicity.
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