Labour markets

Covering all areas of labour market economics, from productivity and wages to the link between education, skills and employment, our team provides expert analysis for both the public and the private sector.

We have extensive experience in the labour markets arena, having undertaken many high profile projects ranging from the evaluation of policy interventions (such as the London Living Wage) to the analysis of labour market outcomes achieved by individuals in possession of different qualifications or in receipt of different active labour market policies. Our clients include central government Departments and Non-Departmental Public Bodies, the European Parliament, European Commission and the OECD.

Research areas

We work across all areas of labour market economics, including:


We evaluate the drivers of employment incidence and durations, as well as the likelihood of benefits dependency and the impact of Active Labour Market Policies (ALMP).


We provide insights and analysis on earnings and low pay to help our clients gain a better understanding of the dynamics of labour markets.


Across different sectors and sub-sectors, we help our clients identify the drivers of productivity which are key to improving long-run economic growth.

Recruitment and Retention

We quantify the costs and benefits associated with improved staff recruitment and retention and assess the impact of workforce policies designed to reduce turnover.

For queries related to the above research areas, contact: Dr Gavan Conlon, +44 (0) 20 3701 7703, [email protected]

Case studies

Examples of our work include:

Assessing the impact of skills gaps on firm productivity

Using the 2015 wave of the Employer Skills Survey (ESS), we provided comprehensive insight into employer demand for skills driven by skills gaps. In particular, we look at whether skills gaps, have a significant effect on a number of business outcomes, including losing business to competitors, delaying development, and increasing operating costs. We additionally investigated whether the magnitude of this impact was affected by the severity of the skills gap.

An examination of the impact of the NMW on earnings, the bite and wage differentials

Using the Labour Force Survey (LFS), Annual Business Survey (ABS) and the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) datasets, we examined how the earnings distribution has changed over time in relation to changes in the National Minimum Wage. We also investigate whether wages and differentials reflect skills and productivity differences at a sector level.

The impact of student loan repayments on graduate taxes

Commissioned by the University and College Union, we assessed the lifetime costs to higher education students associated with receiving and repaying student loans provided by Student Finance England. In addition to assessing the loan balance on graduation and repayments made, the analysis estimated the effective average and marginal tax rates associated with tuition fee and maintenance loan repayments in a number of typical graduate professions.

Assessing the costs of low retention in the nursing profession

London Economics undertook an analysis of workforce flows and commissioning patterns for 10 nursing professions at both individual local education and training board level and nationally for Health Education England. Unlike the workforce planning models already available within the organisation, over and above the analysis of the stocks and flows associated with the substantive workforce, our analysis also considered the salary costs associated with employing the substantive workforce, bank and agency staff, recruitment costs, as well as the cost of health education commissioning.