Working for the future

November 2022

This analysis shows unemployment was being driven by a combination of people out of work for five years or more with long-term illnesses, lower migration and more students – but with new evidence showing how early retirement and Long Covid were contributing.

Key new findings include that:

  • The UK is almost unique in seeing employment still lower than pre-pandemic, with the third worst recovery in the developed world.
  • This is being driven by a shrinking workforce – with 600 thousand more people ‘economically inactive’ than in 2019.
  • The smaller labour force is likely to be a lasting change – as Baby Boomers continue to retire through the 2020s, and due to lower migration – with half a million fewer non-UK born workers than there would have been on the pre-2016 trend.
  • Recent years have seen a huge fall in access to Jobcentre Plus employment support, and often low levels of satisfaction from those who do get it.
  • The UK lags behind many other nations on employment for disabled people and older people.

Launch Report

Evidence Report