What to expect

The UK Job Market and Political Promises

What are the two parties promising

As of March 2024, the unemployment rate in the UK is 4.3%, down from 7.9% in May 2010, the year the Conservatives won parliament. Nevertheless, there are issues facing the labour market, like how AI will influence everyday tasks, how current wars will affect the economy, and why big UK businesses are going bankrupt. Here are the promises made by the Conservative and Labour Parties, along with potential implications for the labour market, should they win in July.

 

What are the two parties promising and how can it impact the job market?

Conservatives

  • Raising defence spending to 2.5% of GDP by 203
  • Introducing the National Service for 18-year-olds
  • Seeing the Rwanda Plan Through
  • Keeping Inflation Low
  • Abolishing National Insurance
  • The NHS Workforce Plan and Productivity Reforms
  • Guaranteeing the Pensions Triple Lock
  • Doubling Free Childcare

The Conservatives' job market promises include raising defence spending to 2.5% of GDP by 2030 to create jobs in defence sectors and introducing national service for 18-year-olds to reduce youth unemployment through skills training. Their Rwanda Plan aims to address illegal immigration, potentially reducing competition for low-wage jobs. By keeping inflation low, they hope to stabilise the economy and encourage job creation. Abolishing National Insurance is intended to lower labour costs and boost hiring. Investing in the NHS workforce and productivity aims to create healthcare jobs and improve service delivery. Guaranteeing the pension triple lock seeks to provide financial security for retirees, freeing up jobs for younger workers. Doubling free childcare is designed to increase workforce participation, especially among parents, by helping them balance work and family commitments. These policies collectively aim to drive job growth, economic stability, and higher workforce participation.

Labour

  • Delivering Two Million More NHS Appointments a Year
  • Setting up Great British Energy
  • Closing Private Education Tax Loopholes
  • Improving local NHS care
  • Stopping Water Bosses’ Bonuses
  • Ending hotel use for asylum seekers
  • Greater Support for Victims of Violence Against Women
  • Establishing the Great British Railways
  • Making the Minimum Wage a Genuine Living Wage
  • Free Breakfast Clubs in Every Primary School in England

Labour's job market promises focus on public sector expansion and social welfare improvements. They plan to deliver two million more NHS appointments a year, requiring a significant increase in healthcare professionals. Setting up Great British Energy will generate jobs in the green energy sector, while closing private education tax loopholes aims to improve public schools and create more jobs in education. Improving local NHS care will increase healthcare job opportunities, and stopping water bosses’ bonuses will redirect funds to environmental jobs and infrastructure. Ending hotel use for asylum seekers may impact jobs related to asylum support, while expanding support for victims of violence against women will create jobs in social care and protection roles. Establishing Great British Railways will generate transport sector jobs, and making the minimum wage a genuine living wage aims to improve income for low-wage workers, though it may affect business hiring capacity. Free breakfast clubs in every primary school will create jobs in education and childcare, support working parents, and enhance children's wellbeing.

Conclusion

Both parties' promises made during the upcoming election reflect their different opinions of the UK labour market. The Conservatives want to promote innovation and growth in the private sector by concentrating on defence spending, tax cuts, and economic stability. Labour, on the other hand, places a stronger focus on sustainability, social welfare, and the growth of the public sector to raise social justice and employment quality.

In the long run, how these approaches are balanced will determine how the UK's employment market develops in the future, impacting everything from economic development and workforce participation to job creation and income levels.

Chris Wright
July 3, 2024
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