Follow us
Publications Commentary Research People Events News Resources and Videos About IFS
Home Publications Getting people back into work

Getting people back into work

Briefing note

This Briefing Note was first published on 4th May 2020. A variant of the note with very minor updates has been published in Covid Economics, and the Briefing Note itself has been amended to reflect the same updates.

Governments are starting to ease restrictions to economic activity. The risks of easing these measures too soon, or in misguided ways, are obvious, not only for public health but also for the economy. A world with no lockdown and a pandemic spreading rapidly through the population does not make for a healthy economy; nor, in all likelihood, does a world in which containment measures have to be repeatedly reinstated after being eased prematurely or in suboptimal ways. We discuss some key economic issues that the UK government needs to face when thinking about how best to get people back into work: we assemble some basic empirical evidence, identify some challenges that policymakers will need to confront, and discuss some policy considerations. 

Download the full report here.

Coronavirus podcast

More on this topic

Press release
The emerging consensus to prioritise school reopenings is welcome. But how the return to school is managed is just as important as when. An optional return risks widening the gaps between disadvantaged students and their better-off peers. And even if the return to school is compulsory and soon, we ...
Press release
We have had 13 major fiscal announcements since the last Budget on March 11th last year. Those announcements have involved more than £250 billion of additional spending, largely focussed on supporting public services, jobs, businesses and incomes through the pandemic.
Press release
The COVID-19 crisis has hit employment and incomes across the UK, which in turn has affected some households’ ability to pay major bills such as council tax. As a result, councils expect to collect £1.3 billion less council tax in 2020–21 than they forecast before the COVID-19 crisis. The ...
IFS Working Paper W21/03
MPCs were directly elicited from a representative sample of UK adults in July 2020 using receipt of a hypothetical unanticipated, one-time income payment. Reported MPCs are low, around 11% on average.