Good work is central to the wellbeing and flourishing of individuals, communities and the country. Our research shows that good work is also central to meeting the toughest socio-economic challenges of the pandemic and to rebuild strong, resilient communities across the country. A plan for future good work is a plan for recovery.
The Good Work Monitor creates the first single and holistic measure of the availability of good work in each local authority area of England outside London.
Our analysis demonstrates that the places where good work is most available have fared best throughout the pandemic. These areas have experienced a less dramatic increase in unemployment and less furloughing of employees. Where there is good work, people are healthier and their exposure to the impacts of COVID-19 have been less acute, with fewer COVID mortalities. By contrast, the ‘left behind communities’ with little access to good work have experienced the sharpest end of the pandemic. People living in areas with less good work have suffered both the primary and secondary impacts of the pandemic most severely and seen pronounced inequalities of work and health deepening. The relationships between work and health are illustrated starkly by the Good Work Monitor: good work correlates strongly with ‘deaths of despair’ before the pandemic and with COVID mortalities through the pandemic.