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Labour Market, Welfare Reform and Inequality in the United Kingdom

Listed author(s):
  • Christophe André


  • Clara Garcia


  • Giulia Giupponi
  • Jon Kristian Pareliussen


Employment has risen by more and unemployment has risen less than expected, given the path of output. Nevertheless, long-term and youth unemployment and involuntary part-time work are high. A polarised labour market risks worsening income inequality, which is high by OECD standards, despite a recent and likely temporary decline. The UK welfare system is an essential safety net, which needs to promote employment, while protecting the most vulnerable. The reformed welfare system, Universal Credit, and the employment programme for disadvantaged workers, Work Programme, will generally improve work incentives and provide support for return to work, but need to be refined. Skill deficiencies are holding back employment and fostering inequality, as low education achievements penalise children from lower socio-economic backgrounds. Vocational training needs to be strengthened and cooperation with employers reinforced. Transition from education to work can prove challenging, requiring more attention to the integration of university graduates into the labour market. Marché du travail, réforme de la protection sociale et inégalités au Royaume-Uni L’emploi a progressé plus et le chômage a augmenté moins que prévu au regard de l’évolution de la production. Néanmoins, le chômage de longue durée et le chômage des jeunes, ainsi que le travail à temps partiel involontaire, sont élevés. La polarisation du marché du travail risque d’accentuer les inégalités de revenu, qui sont très marquées par rapport aux autres pays de l’OCDE, malgré une atténuation récente et probablement temporaire. Le système de protection sociale du Royaume-Uni constitue un filet de sécurité essentiel, qui doit favoriser l’emploi tout en protégeant les plus vulnérables. Le système réformé de protection sociale (Universal Credit) et le programme d’emplois pour les travailleurs défavorisés (Work Programme) renforceront généralement les incitations à travailler et faciliteront le retour à l’emploi, mais des améliorations sont nécessaires. L’insuffisance des qualifications bride l’emploi et creuse les inégalités, de faibles niveaux d’instruction pénalisant les enfants issus de milieux socio-économiques défavorisés. Il est indispensable de développer la formation professionnelle et la coopération avec les employeurs. Le passage de l’école à l’emploi est parfois difficile, d’où la nécessité de prêter une plus grande attention à l’intégration des diplômés de l’université sur le marché du travail.

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Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Economics Department Working Papers with number 1034.

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Date of creation: 08 Mar 2013
Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:1034-en
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