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Working Futures

Working Futures is a quantitative assessment of future employment prospects for UK and is the most comprehensive and detailed model of the UK labour market available. It projects the future size and shape of the labour market by considering employment prospects by industry, occupation, qualification level, gender and employment status.

The main focus of the work has been to develop quantitative projections, concentrating on anticipating changing skill needs (as measured by occupation and formal qualifications), in the context of changes in general economic circumstances. These assessments are based on a well-established labour market model that provides consistent results across industry sectors and geographic areas, together with procedures to develop projections by skill, covering both demand and supply. The core purpose of Working Futures is to inform policy development and strategy around skills, careers and employment.

Working Futures 2017-2027

IER, in collaboration with Cambridge Econometrics, are currently producing a new round of Working Futures projections to be published in 2019. For the four nations and nine English regions, this will include:

  • Future prospects for output, productivity and employment by detailed industry sector
  • Future occupational structure of employment at an aggregate level and within industries, taking account of the gender and employment status profile within occupations
  • Future replacement demands by occupation within industries
  • Future profile of employment by the level of highest qualification held by workers
  • Future prospects for labour supply

Plus, it will assess employment prospects at a local level through the production of indicative projections by industry and occupation, including for Local Enterprise Partnership areas in England. The Projections will include a detailed analysis of employment prospects with an extension of the occupational results to the full 4-digit level of SOC 2010 to be delivered to the LMI for All project.

Working Futures 2014-2024

This edition of the report projects labour market information for the period 2014 to 2024.

Working Futures 2012-2022

These reports contain the latest results from Working Futures, presenting employment projections for the period from 2012 to 2022.

Working Futures 2010-2020

Working Futures 2010-2020 is fourth in a series of labour market assessments that provide detailed projections for the UK labour market. It focuses on a ten year horizon, giving a picture of the labour market for 2020; including employment prospects for industries, occupations, qualification levels, gender and employment status for the UK and for nations and English regions.

Working Futures 2007-2017

Working Futures 2007-2017 focused upon the future patterns of demand for skills as measured by occupation. The results covered the National (UK) picture, as well as detailed sectoral and spatial results. The projections were the most detailed and extensive ever produced for the UK. Over half a million time series were consistently projected just for employment. The 2007-2017 results take account of new data from the Census of Population 2001 and other sources including the Annual Business Inquiry and the Labour Force Survey.

Working Futures 2004-2014

Working Futures 2003-2004

Project team:

Rob Wilson
Sally-Anne Barnes
David Owen
Sudipa Sarkar

Project Partners:

Derek Bosworth

Cambridge Econometrics

IER Bulletins based on Working Futures series:

Working Futures 2010-2020 (No.100)

Working Futures 2004-2014 (No.81)

Working Futures: New Projections of Occupational Employment by Sector and Region (No. 73)

Project Funder:


Previously funded by UKCES