Work, Worklessness and Well-Being: A Disaggregated Analysis of the Impact of Recession in the UK
A disaggregated analysis aims to challenge the implied homogeneity of aggregate descriptions of population well-being. Eight years of data are used to analyse the UK working age population by comparing pre-recession to recession periods (2003-2011 in total), modelling men and women separately to capture different labour market interactions. Findings suggests that the psychological well-being of the economically inactive was most exposed to the recession, this holds true for both men and women despite different selection processes, and thus expands existing inequalities between labour market statuses. Furthermore, the relative advantage of employment compared to unemployment reduced during recession, narrowing well-being inequality between these two groups. The unequal impact of the recession provides insight into how social policy failed to protect some of the most vulnerable citizens from the inequalities of the labour market and provides an opportunity to reflect on ongoing social policies.