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. 

Download the reports below

Part 1 – Thematic literature review

Download the report
PDF document 315.4 KB

Part 2 – Indicators of job quality

Download the report
PDF document 192.7 KB
Reports

Explore our related content

Reports
Apprenticeships and the case for a flexible skills levy

Analysis of the current Apprenticeship Levy and policy recommendations for how it can be adapted to provide a better apprenticeships system and workforce training support

Reports
Labour Market Outlook

Read our latest Labour Market Outlook report for analysis on employers’ recruitment, redundancy and pay intentions

Reports
Pay, performance and transparency 2024

Insight from the CIPD’s survey into factors driving pay decisions in UK workplaces and recommendations for practice

Reports
Neuroinclusion at work report 2024

Find out about the importance of neuroinclusive workplaces, what employers are doing and the working experiences of neurodivergent and neurotypical employees

All Reports