This report reviews the academic literature on job quality and proposes a usable and meaningful approach to measuring it. This research makes an important contribution in thought leadership for a fundamental aspect of working life.

The 2017 Taylor review commissioned by the UK Government has led to renewed attention to understanding, measuring and improving the quality of work and employment. It is clear that to fully understand the interrelationships between our economies and societies, we need a broader conception of good quality work and employment than the standard econometric measures give. The raw figures of how many jobs there are and what financial value they produce are quite simply not enough. 

There are a number of aspects of jobs to explore. As well as wellbeing at work, we can also look at employees’ opportunities to progress and develop as professionals, job complexity and skills used, employee voice. All these factors and more can be hugely influential in people’s working lives.

Describing job quality in a comprehensive and consistent way, and measuring it robustly are both crucial tasks. They will develop our understanding of work and employment, helping us build a cohesive body of knowledge, and will also galvanise action. 

Part 1 reviews the academic literature on job quality, to both flesh out what we can understand by this strapline and propose a usable and meaningful approach to measuring job quality. Part 2 reviews existing measures of job quality, highlighting strengths and weaknesses. 

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Part 1 – Thematic literature review

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Part 2 – Indicators of job quality

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