Good Work builds resilience against social, economic and health shocks. More than any other single factor, access to good jobs will determine future prospects for people and places across the country.
The 2023 Good Work Time Series tracks trends in access to good work across all local authorities in England, Scotland and Wales. This unique view over time is designed to help policymakers identify the most effective ways to improve social, economic and health outcomes together, enabling policy interventions tailored to local challenges. The pandemic shone a light on traditional and emerging inequalities in work and health. The 2023 Time Series points to a new axis of inequality: satisfactory hours in professional jobs have increased with the ability to work from home. But the increase in professional jobs is no longer associated with the ‘deroutinisation’ of other work as many new jobs created during the pandemic are poorer in quality. In this context, the 2023 Time Series offers a sharp focus on creating pathways to future good work as a bridge from response to the cost-of-living crisis to the long-term planning required to tackle deep-seated inequalities across the country. Our analyses invite a reset of relations between the national and subnational tiers of government and a fresh, evidence-driven approach to funding priorities and allocation. They reinforce the need for a new economic paradigm of good work. Good work should be a cross-cutting, policy objective, guiding and measuring the success of ‘Levelling Up' and unleashing the potential of people and places. The labour market is as tight as it has been in our lifetimes, but increasing numbers of people are becoming ‘outsiders’ who are unable to access good quality jobs. Now is the time to act and ensure a future of good work is secured for all. I would like to thank the IFOW team and offer particular thanks to Research Fellows Dr Elena Papaganniaki of Birmingham City University, Professor Jolene Skordis and Dr Jonathan Clarke, and Kester Brewin. Anna Thomas Institute for the Future of Work Co-Founder and Director
"Good work" is central to the prosperity and wellbeing of individuals, communities and the country. Our research shows why and how good work is key to meeting the toughest socio-economic challenges and to building strong, resilient communities across the whole of the United Kingdom.