Labour market

Work is a major factor in determining people’s income, security and well-being. We want to understand what causes people to fare well in the labour market, and how changes in the nature and structure of work are affecting people’s well-being.

Our labour market research explores the causes of labour market outcomes and how these relate to people’s living standards and well-being.

For example, what are the factors that are important for positive labour market outcomes such as higher earnings, job satisfaction and security and opportunities for training and development?

We also want to understand more about how the structure of work is changing – for example, the rise of the gig economy – and how these changes affect the acquisition of skills, and people’s income and security.


Our team

  • Alex Beer
    Senior Consultant, Welfare
  • Programme Head, Welfare

  • Mark-Franks-Nuffield-Foundation-Together-alone-connecting-individual-and-collective-well-being-through-our-work-in-welfare
    Director, Welfare

Our impact in labour market

  • The Welsh Assembly’s trial of support mechanisms for reducing in-work poverty was influenced by Dr Rod Hick’s study which found that of those living in poverty, 60% live in a household where someone is in work, the highest figure recorded.

  • Policy makers and researchers have access to quarterly updates on key labour market trends as a result of our funding for the Resolution Foundation’s Earnings Outlook, which provides open access data and analysis relating to pay, employment, participation and productivity. This analysis has been used by the ONS and the Bank of England.

  • Our labour market research by Carl Emmerson at the IFS revealed for the first time the impact of increasing the female state pension age on the employment and earnings of older workers. The findings have been reflected in DWP analysis and the Fiscal Sustainability Report produced by the Office for Budget Responsibility.

Labour market projects

2 of 2


Education | Welfare | 2013 – 2015

Estimating the human capital of graduates

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Education | 2013 – 2018

Employment trajectories of STEM graduates

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Education | 2013 – 2015

Does apprenticeship work for adults?

View project

Education | Welfare | 2011 – 2013

Moving from school to work

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Welfare | 2010 – 2013

Lone parents’ mental health and employment

View project

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We aim to improve people’s lives by funding research that informs social policy, primarily in Education, Welfare and Justice. We also fund student programmes that give young people skills and confidence in science and research.

We are an open, collaborative and engaged funder that offers more than money. Through connecting the individual projects we fund, we strengthen their collective impact and give voice to an overarching narrative.