Sports field with goal posts and houses in the distance

Research: Work and Skills

The work and skills research team explore prominent themes in labour markets and skills formation. Recent research includes explorations of patterns in educational attainment, analyses of low pay and annual reports on trends in Greater Manchester’s skills system.

Greater Manchester Labour Market and Skills Review

A comprehensive analysis of patterns in employment and skills across Greater Manchester.

Research projects

Labour Market and Skills Reviews

Low Pay

In 2015-16 New Economy undertook a research programme into Greater Manchester’s low wage labour market. This series of reports presents the findings.

  • Low pay and productivity in Greater Manchester: main report
    Just under a quarter of Greater Manchester’s workforce earns less than a living wage, making low pay a significant economic challenge in the city region. This is the main report of the project and presents New Economy’s analysis of the causes and consequences of low wage work.
  • The economic and fiscal impact of low pay in Greater Manchester
    Greater Manchester is among the city regions with the heaviest dependence on the tax credit system in the UK, reflecting the need to top wages up with state support. The report presents evidence about tax credit trends and analyses strategies for reducing the costs of the tax credit system.
  • Low pay and progression in Greater Manchester
    In line with other research, this report highlights the difficulties of moving out of low wage work. For many, life on low pay is not a short-term stop-gap, but a long-term way of life. The report also analyses the characteristics of those who ‘escape’ low pay and those who are ‘stuck’ in it.