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22 February 2018

How will automation affect jobs in retailing?

By John Hawksworth The retail and wholesale sector is one of the largest employers in the UK, accounting for around 15% of all jobs. It is also closely linked to other sectors that are significant employers such as consumer goods manufacturing and transport and logistics. In the future, however, the...

06 February 2018

Will robots really steal our jobs?

By John Hawksworth, Jonathan Gillham and Richard Berriman Automation is nothing new – machines have been replacing human workers at a gradual rate ever since the Industrial Revolution. This happened first in agriculture and skilled crafts like hand weaving, then in mass manufacturing, and in more recent decades in many...

07 December 2017

Young workers aren’t working

By David Armstrong What to do about young people not in education, training or employment As a father of three children who will all soon be young adults, the idea that they’ll do nothing productive fills me with fear and dread, but the statistics say that may happen. The official...

24 November 2017

Chancellor walks a narrow tightrope between fiscal prudence and easing austerity

By John Hawksworth UK economic growth has slowed this year and this more sluggish performance is now projected to continue for some years to come as productivity growth remains disappointing. This has worsened the medium term public finance outlook and reduced the wriggle room available to the Chancellor. He therefore...

20 November 2017

We need a Budget to boost flagging productivity growth

By Andrew Sentance, Senior Economic Adviser, PwC The Chancellor has not been short of advice about his Autumn Budget. More money is being requested for the health service, education, benefits, public sector pay and housing. Many of his Cabinet colleagues have pitched into the debate – including the Prime Minister...

14 November 2017

UK economic prospects, the productivity challenge and migration after Brexit

By John Hawksworth Global growth has picked up to over 3% this year, but UK economic growth has slowed to around 1.5% due in particular to the squeeze on consumer spending power from higher inflation. UK business investment growth has also been slower than might have been expected given the...

12 October 2017

Preparing for an age of automation: how policymakers can support young workers to succeed

By Hannah Audino and George Mason Across the UK, young people aged 16 to 24 are almost four times more likely to be unemployed than adults. Despite falls in youth unemployment in recent years as the economy has recovered from the financial crisis, challenges around social mobility, a lack of...

11 September 2017

UK makes good progress on fuller working lives – but still scope to improve further

By John Hawksworth New data released by the DWP on 7th September showed that the UK has made good progress on extending working lives, particularly for women. Twenty years ago, the average age at which women exited the workforce was around 60 – now it is 63. The gradual rise...

03 August 2017

Why has the Phillips Curve gone flat?

By John Hawksworth and Jamie Durham Traditional economic theory would suggest that low unemployment will be associated with relatively high wage inflation - and vice versa - as described in the ‘Phillips Curve’ (named after the economist who first identified this relationship in the 1960s). However, the unemployment rate in...

31 July 2017

What can machine learning add to economics?

By Hugh Dance and John Hawksworth Machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) are some of the hottest topics around today. On the one hand, AI promises great benefits for productivity and the economy, on the other hand it could also displace some existing jobs at the same time as it...