Global Labour Resilience Index©: Levelling up labour market resilience

Levelling up labour market resilience

As part of the GLRI 2021 series Whiteshield has produced an analysis of the state of regional labour market resilience in the UK. This has been produced in collaboration with the Institute for the Future of Work.

The labour market appeared to be strong prior to the crisis with a historically low unemployment rate however it hid many underlying weaknesses. Labour productivity has not recovered since the global financial crisis of 2008. Median productivity growth of the decade after the 2008 downturn is less than one-quarter of what it was during the decade before the downturn (starting with Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 1998). Productivity growth is one of the main contributors to economic growth and substantially impacts living standards. The poor performance of the UK has led many to question the causes of the “productivity puzzle”. The lack of productivity growth is a risk to labour resilience, especially during times of crisis – there are a large number of low paying, low productivity service sector jobs in the UK which are vulnerable to job losses due to COVID-19.

According to the Global Labour Resilience Index 2021, the United Kingdom has the 12th most resilient labour market in the world.

Whilst the national results show a strong labour market by international standards, the results of the regional UK Labour Resilience Index (UKLRI) demonstrate the extent of inequalities across the regions of the UK. There is a significant difference in the labour market resilience scores of the top and bottom performing regions in the UK.