Good jobs, bad jobs in the UK labour market

Hosted by the International Inequalities Institute

In-person and online public event (Sheikh Zayed Theatre, Cheng Kin Ku Building)


Professor James Foster

Professor James Foster

Professor Kirsten Sehnbruch

Professor Kirsten Sehnbruch

Stephen Timms MP

Stephen Timms MP


Professor Vanessa Rubio-Márquez

Professor Vanessa Rubio-Márquez

In the context of a worldwide cost-of-living crisis and likely recession, policy attention will focus increasingly on poverty and employment. In the UK, as elsewhere, those workers employed in low-wage, unstable jobs with poor working conditions are likely to suffer disproportionately in this crisis, thus exacerbating existing inequalities. This event will discuss how we can define and measure deprivation in the labour market, by applying a methodology widely used to measure multidimensional poverty to the labour market, using the UK as a case study.

It will further discuss the policy implications and applications of this research, especially in the context of potential future disruptions in the labour market such as technological changes, climate change, population ageing and migration. The event will present research from a British Academy Global Professorship on multidimensional quality of employment deprivation.

Meet our speakers and chair

James Foster is the Oliver T. Carr Professor of International Affairs and Professor of Economics at George Washington University (Washington, DC). His research focuses on welfare economics. His ground-breaking methodological work with Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen and Sabina Alkire (Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative) on multidimensional poverty and inequality has transformed how international institutions and individual governments measure and think about human development.

Kirsten Sehnbruch (@KirstenSehn) is a British Academy Global Professor and a Distinguished Policy Fellow at the International Inequalities Institute at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Previously, she was a Research Fellow at the Universidad de Chile, Director of the Institute for Public Policy at the Universidad Diego Portales (Chile), and a Lecturer at the University of California, at Berkeley.

Stephen Timms (@stephenctimms) is the Labour Member of Parliament for East Ham. He is also the Labour Party's Faith Envoy. He was the Shadow Minister for Employment from 2010 until September 2015 and previously sat on the Exiting the European Union Select Committee. He currently chairs the Work and Pensions Select Committee and is also the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Switzerland and Lichtenstein.

Vanessa Rubio-Márquez (@VRubioMarquez) is Professor and Associate Dean for Extended Education and Professor in Practice at the School of Public Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science. She has had a 25 year long career in Mexico’s public service, including serving as Senator and three times Deputy Minister (Finance -first woman in history at the job; Social Development; and Foreign Affairs).

More about this event

This event will be available to watch on LSE Live. LSE Live is the new home for our live streams, allowing you to tune in and join the global debate at LSE, wherever you are in the world. If you can't attend live, a video will be made available shortly afterwards on LSE's YouTube channel.

The LSE International Inequalities Institute (@LSEInequalities) brings together experts from many of the School's departments and centres to lead cutting-edge research focused on understanding why inequalities are escalating in numerous arenas across the world, and to develop critical tools to address these challenges.

This event is part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science 2023, taking place from 21 October to 17 November with events across the UK.

Explore LSE’s dedicated hub Understanding the UK Economy, showcasing research and expertise on the state of the UK economy, its global context and its future.

Twitter Hashtag for this event: #LSEIII

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