Worklessness and sustainable employment: Call for information

paper_pileThe Observatory’s Economic Inclusion team is currently investigating what evidence, data and research is available on these two topics:

  • Causes of worklessness
    This will include looking at the relationships between causal factors such as poor health, poverty, poor skills etc., movements in and out of the labour market and the dynamics of worklessness, issues of benefit dependency and benefits as a disincentive to formal employment.
  • Sustainability of employment
    In particular, we are looking for data and research that show how long people stay in work once entering employment after a period of worklessness. We would also be interested in any data or research that is available that considers factors such as demography, geography and industrial sector and the influence that these might have on sustainable employment.

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West Midlands’ economy continues to feel economic pain

Up and down arrowsThe prospects for the regional economy continue to worsen in the short term as new data further emphasises a deepening contraction of economic activity.

The CIPS/Markit Purchasing Managers Indices (PMI) for the West Midlands were released on 10 Novemember. The PMI is an important indicator of the short term economic prospects and it is widely used to inform policy

The PMI pointed to an acceleration of the downturn in October. The key headlines are:

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We’re recruiting for a Research Analyst

Logo of West Midlands Regional ObservatoryWe currently have a vacancy for a Research Analyst to join us at the West Midlands Regional Observatory. Further details about the role and how to apply are available from Advantage West Midlands.

For other information please contact our Recruitment Hotline on 0121 503 3444.

The closing date is 28 November 2008 for applications has now passed.

Changes to benefits system

Employment and Support Allowance - Working for a better lifeImportant changes were made to the benefits system in October 2008 which will have a major impact on claimants of incapacity benefits.

The aim is to simplify the system, and support claimants to return to work in line with the Government’s welfare to work policies and target of 80% employment rate.

Employment and Support Allowance is the new benefit that replaces Incapacity Benefit and Income Support (on incapacity grounds) for new customers from 27 October 2008.

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Questionnaire on benefits of local information systems

Chart showing upward trendThis questionnaire is part of a research project, commissioned by the Department for Communities and Local Government, to investigate the way users of local information systems benefit from the data and statistics the systems provide. The aim of the questionnaire is to obtain information about how you use the system and the way it helps you.

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Digital Mentors: invitation to tender

Communities and Local GovernmentThe Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) are inviting individual organisations and consortia to bid to co-ordinate the development of a network of ”Digital Mentors” to help people in deprived communities in England develop skills in using social and community media.

More details on the invitation to tender and the role of digital mentors—including an Expression of Interest form and workshop details for those interested in tendering—are available from Communities and Local Government (doc, 136kb).

There is also a discussion forum for further debate on the Digital Mentors initiative.