A radical new post-crisis approach is needed if government wants to achieve its goal of full employment, a report released today has found.
According to the study by the Resolution Foundation, which is based on a nine-month investigation, government should be focusing on labour market participation and bringing those who are currently classed as economically inactive into the workforce, rather than attempting to motivate those who are unemployed into work by slashing benefits.
The report also cautions that government will need to make more of an effort to stop people from leaving the workforce to begin with if it wants to reach full employment, which could involve reassessing rights for returning for those on leave because of ill-health and making pension drawdowns more flexible to allow older people to continue working reduced hours while still maintaining their income levels.
"Securing full employment will mean finding jobs for 2.4m people," said Laura Gardiner, senior policy analyst at the Resolution Foundation. "And with three quarters of those missing workers currently inactive we need to a new post-crisis approach to support them into work. That means a new focus on boosting participation and helping people to stay in employment for longer."
Paul Gregg, professor of economics at Bath University and associate of the Resolution Foundation, added: "The UK has recorded strong employment gains and continues to break new ground. But beneath this impressive growth lie alarming regional jobs gaps for groups including young people, the over 50s, black, Asian and minority ethnic people and those with a disability or ill-health. It’s crucial that support is targeted at these groups."