April 16, 2024

Good Work Time Series 2024

Good work is more than employment. It is work that promotes dignity, autonomy and equality; work that has fair pay and conditions; work where people are properly supported to develop their talents and have a sense of community. Our research shows that, more than any other single factor, access to good jobs will determine future prospects for people and places across the country.

The Good Work Time Series tracks trends in access to good work across all local authorities in England, Scotland and Wales. This unique view over time is designed to help policymakers identify the most effective ways to improve social, economic and health outcomes together, enabling policy interventions tailored to local challenges.

The data in 2023 pointed to a new axis of inequality: satisfactory hours in professional jobs increasing with the ability to work from home. But this increase in professional jobs was no longer associated with the ‘deroutinisation’ of other work as many new jobs created during the pandemic were seen to be poorer in quality.

Now, with this 2024 release, our analysis shows that the trends and trajectories we identified in last year are becoming entrenched, with widening gaps between top and bottom performers and differences between local areas becoming more pronounced. Increasing job polarisation, combined with significant reductions in total scores seen in parts of the East Midlands and North East, should cause policymakers to reflect on the efficacy of current interventions aimed at addressing pronounced regional inequalities.

Adding new depth to our research, this year we are combining the release of the Time Series with the publication of the Disruption Index (DI). Part of the Pissarides Review – funded by the Nuffield Foundation – the DI is an innovative analytical tool that offers a nuanced perspective on the multifaceted nature of technological transformation across the regions of the country. Overlaid with this Good Work Time Series, this allows new insights into regional inequalities in access to good work, and the investment, skills and infrastructure required to deliver ‘levelling up’ in practice.

We know from our research that good work is the best way to maximise and spread the benefits and manage the risks of the technological transformation that we are experiencing as AI and automation are adopted in workplaces up and down the country.

Promoting access to good work can shape a good society in which everyone can flourish. As such, it should be a cross-cutting policy objective as we seek to reduce regional inequalities and unleash the potential of people and places.

Read the interactive reportRead the interactive report


Anna Thomas

Publication type



Changing work

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