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1 Active Labour Market Policies in the UK: What is the Secret of the British Success? 10-11 March 2005 Bill Wells: UK Department for Work & Pensions. at:

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Presentation on theme: "1 Active Labour Market Policies in the UK: What is the Secret of the British Success? 10-11 March 2005 Bill Wells: UK Department for Work & Pensions. at:"— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Active Labour Market Policies in the UK: What is the Secret of the British Success? March 2005 Bill Wells: UK Department for Work & Pensions. at: How to implement the Lisbon Agenda An International Seminar for Experts organised by the Cicero Foundation.

2 2 UK Active Labour Market Policies… The structural features of the UK labour market. –Diverse and dynamic –Work Pays –Better qualified & skilled –Centralised benefit and labour market help. How active labour market policies fit in with the structure of the UK labour market. –Unemployment benefits –Inactive Benefits Conclusions.

3 3 In terms of hours the UK labour market is very diverse… 11 % work 40 hours 15% work 38 hours 29% work 40 hours 11% work 39 hours 15% work 36 hours 39% work 40 hours 33% work 35 hours 17 % work 50+ hours

4 4..& it is dynamic. Lots of people find new jobs each year 4.7 m 0.8 m 4.9 m 0.5 m 0.13 m 0.7 m 4.9 m Source: Cross sectional LFS datasets, sum of 4 quarters

5 5 Other features… People are generally better off in work. –Taxes & benefits are organised so that work pays Individuals can take up a wider range of jobs. –Skills and qualifications are improving. Comprehensive and centralised benefit system –Benefit payment and active labour market help can be combined.

6 6 …% remaining unemployed …% leaving unemployment 52% are still unemployed after 3 months 36% after 6 months 27% after 9 month 20% after one year 11% after 18 months 8% after 2 years 5% after 3 years 4% after 4 years proportion leaving in first three months 48% between 3 and 6 months 16% between 6 and 9 months 9% between 9 and 12 months 7% between 12 and 18 months 9% between 18 and 24 months 3% between 2 and 3 years 3% between 3 and 4 years 1% From 1986 when, of those becoming unemployed...

7 7 Unemployment Benefit System Jobseekers Allowance –Rights & Responsibility agenda –Assisted job search –Increased help as duration increases New Deal –Ends long term unemployment –Gateway –No fifth option

8 8 …% remaining unemployed …% leaving unemployment 40% still unemployed after 3 months 21% after 6 months 11% after 9 months 7% after one year 3% after 18 months 1% after 2 years 0.5% after 3 years 0.2% after 4 years proportion leaving in first three months 60% between 3 and 6 months 19% between 6 and 9 months 10% between 9 and 12 months 4% between 12 and 18 months 3% between 18 and 24 months 2% between 2 and 3 years 0.5% between 3 and 4 years 0.2% …to 2004 when, of those becoming unemployed Source: DWP

9 9 Proportion of JSA inflow leaving within a certain period 3 months 4 years 3 years 2 years 1 year 9 months 6 months All ages

10 10 Proportion of JSA inflow leaving within a certain period year olds 3 months 3 years 2 years 1 year 9 months 6 months 4 years

11 11 Helping to deliver the best claimant unemployment record since the mid 1970s… Thousands

12 12 …with Jobcentre Plus and the New Deal ensuring that the long term unemployed have benefited.

13 13 …and so there is now little difference from the national ILO unemployment/population ratio

14 14 Unemployment is low. The number on lone parent benefit has fallen. And the number on incapacity benefit has peaked.

15 15 To make a big difference we now need to concentrate on people on sickness & disability benefits and long durations... Thousands

16 16 …but the problem is that people on inactive benefits are inactive… Source: Derived from DWP administrative system and Labour Force Survey. Chart should be used for indicative purposes only due to undercount of benefits on LFS

17 17.and you cant get a job if you arent looking for a job. Flows from inactivity in one quarter into employment in the next quarter (excluding those moving from education and those entering retirement, longitudinal LFS) Source: LFS

18 18 Worklessness is now primarily a problem of inactivity not unemployment…

19 19 Developments in Welfare to Work Policy Jobcentre Plus: Roll out 2001 to 2006; New Deal for Lone Parents; New Deal for Disabled People; Building on New Deal; and Incapacity Benefit Reform.

20 20 Modern Jobcentre Plus Services Self-service and face to face advice brought together

21 21 Lone Parents and Partnered Mothers Employment Rates (1978 – 2004) Work: Families and Children

22 22 IB Reforms – Early Pathways findings Six month Incapacity Benefit Off-flows

23 23 The UK has one of the best labour markets in the world…

24 24 …with more people in work than ever before and employment rates at historic highs.

25 25 This might involve (indicative figures): 1 million IB claimants in work 300K more lone parents in work 1 million more older workers in work (incl. those post SPA) Higher general female employment (due to better childcare) Meeting our aspiration of an 80% employment rate would require around 2.5 million more people in work

26 26 Challenges for the future Promoting fairness and opportunity for all Incapacity Benefit Lone Parents Older workers (incl. equalisation of SPA) Areas of deprivation Ethnicity Low skills

27 27 CONCLUSIONS If you look for a job… …there is a good chance that you will find one... (with a little help from your friends). The UK has done a lot… …but there is still more to do.


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