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Economic Security Observatory

Life in contemporary Britain is increasingly blighted by the threat of economic insecurity.

Over the last two decades, in-work poverty has risen steadily. Wages have flatlined and more workers find it difficult to escape prolonged period of low pay. Our 2019 research found that 30 percent of all workers do not feel they earn enough to maintain a decent standard of living.

What we're doing

We're identifying where gaps in support – from the state, communities or employers – contribute to this rising tide of insecurity.

During the Covid-19 pandemic we will be focusing primarily on the economic security of Britain’s key workers – the workers who kept Britain going during lockdown, saving both lives and livelihoods. As we look to build a better future beyond the pandemic it is vital that those who most helped us get through it are properly supported to enjoy secure and fulfilling lives – at work and beyond.

Share your experience

We're particularly keen to listen and learn from the experience of key workers during the pandemic. Share your story.

All clapped out?

Key workers have kept the country going during the pandemic, but some are facing the worst of the economic turmoil created by it.

Frontline fatigue

Our survey finds key workers feel stressed and at burn-out point. We need a ‘new deal’ to reward and support those who provide critical frontline services.

Get in touch

Contact us to find out more about this project.

Funders and partners

Trust for London logo
Standard Life Foundation logo

Future of Work

Helping everyone, regardless of background or starting point, find good work in an age of technological change.

Latest thinking on the future of work

  • The pandemic through the stories of key workers

    Long form

    Jake Jooshandeh

    During the pandemic, many key workers have experienced impacts on their economic security, mental and physical health, working and home lives. These are just some of their stories.

  • Improving the economic security of key workers is good for us all


    Jake Jooshandeh

    Tackling economic security is the right political agenda. It’s good for key workers, it’s good for employers, and it’s good for the economy.

  • Key workers in the pandemic


    Jake Jooshandeh

    This report puts forward a comprehensive agenda to tackle economic insecurity in key workers and ensure they are properly supported to enjoy secure, healthy, fulfilling lives.