Business

Workers in 1952 poorer but less stressed, says report

Women demand equal pay in a march in 1952
Image caption Women are still demanding equal pay six decades on

Britons are richer and more stressed than when the Queen came to the throne, a report by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development has found.

The CIPD report found the workforce in the UK has increased by six million, thanks to an influx of women since 1952.

However the total number of hours worked has stayed the same - driven by a big rise in part-time working.

Despite that reduction the CIPD claims work related stress has increased.

Workless homes

One cause for this, according to the report, is the increase in unemployment.

Measured by the number of people claiming the job-seekers allowance, unemployment has increased from 2.2% of the workforce in 1952, to 5.5% on the most recent figures.

More worryingly the report found that the number of households where nobody earned had increased dramatically from 4% to 18.8%.

Image caption The number of women in the workforce has increased

"With the threat of unemployment an underlying concern even in good times, people do not seem much happier about their working lives and many exhibit the symptoms of work-related stress," said Dr John Philpott, chief economic advisor for the CIPD.

Women workers

The report argued that the increase in the number of workless homes was linked to changes in the way we work, with fewer men in the workforce and more households with two earners.

However, with just 75% of men employed compared to 96% in 1952, this increased the number of households with no breadwinner.

On the other hand the female working age employment rate has risen from 46% to 66%.

Rising productivity

However the report accepted that people have become more productive over the last 60 years.

Despite the same number of hours being worked the value of the goods and services produced by the economy has quadrupled.

However this increase has come with increased pay inequality and a significant shift in the kind of work being carried out, the CIPD said.

The number of people in manufacturing jobs fell from 8.7 million in 1952 to just 2.5 million today while the number in managerial, professional and technical jobs has nearly doubled to 44% of the workforce.