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A more equal society?New Labour, poverty, inequality and exclusion$
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John Hills and Kitty Stewart

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9781861345783

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781861345783.001.0001

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Employment: tackling poverty through ‘work for those who can’

Employment: tackling poverty through ‘work for those who can’

(p.22) (p.23) TWO Employment: tackling poverty through ‘work for those who can’
A more equal society?

Abigail McKnight

Policy Press

Labour's strong focus on employment is rooted at the historical heart of the party. Although employment is still an aspiration for the party, their approach to employment policy has changed significantly from the approach of the previous Labour governments. New Labour's approach to achieving full employment and motivation have changed considerably. In the 1908s and 1990s when levels of employment were relatively high, New Labour became cautious about pledging a commitment to full employment. However, when Labour came to power, a new definition of employment was put forward. The emphasis shifted from employment for all to employment opportunity for all. This chapter examines the progress of Labour's Employment Opportunity for All agenda. It identifies the areas where New Labour's approach differs from previous approaches and assesses the appropriateness of Labour's emphasis on employment in its bid to reduce poverty. The chapter also assesses Labour's performance by first looking at macroeconomic trends in the labour market before turning to specific groups.

Keywords:   employment, employment policy, New Labour, poverty, employment opportunity, full employment, macroeconomic trends, labour market

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