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Insecure income, boredom and physical health impacted employee wellbeing most in lockdown

Insecure income, boredom and physical health impacted employee wellbeing most in lockdown

physical healthHaving an insecure financial situation, being bored in both work and free time, and worsening physical health were the biggest factors affecting employee’s wellbeing, during the first covid-19 lockdown, according to new research from emlyon business school. More →

German trial of universal basic income set to begin

German trial of universal basic income set to begin

A new trial of universal basic income and its effects on people’s wellbeing, work and wealth is set to start next year in Germany. The study will see 120 people receive €1,200 each month for three years, and researchers will compare their experiences with another group of 1,380 people who will not receive the payments. More →

Freelancer income fell by a quarter during lockdown

Freelancer income fell by a quarter during lockdown

In the second quarter of 2020, freelancers’ average income dropped by 25 percent, according to the latest freelancer Confidence Index by IPSE (the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed). According to IPSE, the drop in income was driven by a record fall in the average number of weeks freelancers worked this quarter. Between March and June, the average freelancer went 5.5 weeks out of 13 without work. Combined with a 3 percent fall in freelancers’ average day rates, this led to average quarterly earnings declining by 25 percent from £20,821 in Q1 2020 to £15,709 in Q2 2020. More →

What is the evidence for the benefits of basic income?

What is the evidence for the benefits of basic income?

basic incomeThe idea of giving everybody something called basic income – an unconditional, regular income – has become increasingly popular in the last few years, partly because employment has become less secure and people fear that increasing automation may cause job losses across many sectors. More →

Workers often care more about income than work life balance

Workers often care more about income than work life balance

work life balanceFinancial success is important to employees around the globe but the importance of maintaining a work-life balance differs between cultures, new research from BI Norwegian Business School has suggested. More →

Record number of people turn to gig work to top up income

Record number of people turn to gig work to top up income

The number of people doing gig economy work has doubled in the last three years, according to  TUC and FEPS-supported research. The survey – carried out by the University of Hertfordshire with fieldwork and data collection by Ipsos MORI – suggests that nearly 1 in 10 (9.6 percent) working-age adults surveyed now work via gig economy platforms at least once a week, compared to around 1 in 20 (4.7 percent) in 2016. More →

Basic income experiment increased wellbeing but did not encourage people to find work

Basic income experiment increased wellbeing but did not encourage people to find work

Giving jobless people in Finland a basic income for two years improved their self-perceived wellbeing but did not lead them to find work, researchers have concluded. In the trial, from January 2017 until December 2018, 2,000 unemployed Finns were paid a monthly flat amount of €560.  The aim was to see if a guaranteed payment would help people to find jobs and support them in taking on more insecure work. While employment levels did not improve, participants reported to the researchers that they felt happier and less stressed.

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New report challenges idea that productivity has no link with income

New report challenges idea that productivity has no link with income

A new IZA World of Labor report published today suggests that workers’ effort may be more responsive to wage incentives and therefore the efficiency costs of progressive labour income taxation larger than previously thought. A fundamental question in economic policy is how labour supply responds to changes in remuneration. The responsiveness of labour supply determines the size of the employment impact and efficiency loss of progressive income taxation for example. The economist Tess Stafford of the University of New South Wales, Australia, summarises a number of recent studies of independent contractors’ labour supply which confirm a key prediction of economic theory: workers work more (in fact, quite a bit more) when earnings are temporarily high.

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More nations trial universal basic income as report suggests it could provide a major economic boost

More nations trial universal basic income as report suggests it could provide a major economic boost

The much talked about idea of a Universal Basic Income in developed economies is now attracting greater political momentum, at the same time that a major new research project from an American think tank sets out the potential economic benefits. Yesterday, Scotland’s First minister Nicola Sturgeon called for research into the plausibility of a “citizens’ basic income” in a speech to the Scottish Parliament. Her appeal follows an announcement on the same day that Hawaii is to become the first US state to formally explore the idea. A trial is already under way in Finland, although a recent report in the New York Times suggests it is deeply flawed.

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The partners of men with flexible working hours have higher incomes

The partners of men with flexible working hours have higher incomes

A new study suggests that the partners of men who have access to flexible working earn significantly more than those who have more rigid working cultures. The study of German couples, conducted by Dr Laura Langner at the University of Oxford’s Department of Sociology, explored changes in incomes once at least one partner is able to begin flexible working. The study suggests that once men started working flexible hours, their wives’ hourly wages increased significantly, particularly if they were mothers (14.2 percent after four years). The husband’s own hourly wages also increased by 7.4 percent over the following four years.

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Podcast: Is universal basic income a Utopia for realists?

Podcast: Is universal basic income a Utopia for realists? 0

At his recent Harvard commencement ceremony, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg addressed the issue of universal basic income. In his speech he articulated the underlying premise of basic income as a way of redefining our relationship with work and society. “Every generation expands its definition of equality. Now it’s time for our generation to define a new social contract,” Zuckerberg said. “We should have a society that measures progress not by economic metrics like GDP but by how many of us have a role we find meaningful. We should explore ideas like universal basic income to give everyone a cushion to try new things.”

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Universal basic income is an idea whose time has come at last

Universal basic income is an idea whose time has come at last 0

Universal basic incomeIt is no longer a question of whether one of the world’s major economies will introduce a universal basic income for all of its citizens, but when. Over the weekend, the leader of the UK’s Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn announced in an interview in the Huffington Post that he was ‘instinctively looking’ at an idea that is already being discussed and piloted in Switzerland, the Netherlands, Norway and Canada. Corbyn may be one of the current glut of what would have once been political outliers in the Western World, but the idea of a universal basic income is one that is increasingly accepted in mainstream economic thinking. The RSA continues to campaign for it and has even put a number on it, suggesting that every UK citizen should be offered £308 between the ages of 25 and 65. Andrew Flowers offers up a masterful and detailed analysis of the economic and political issues involved in this piece on fivethirtyeight.com.

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