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Employment During the Queen’s Reign

It’s hard to think about being in the same job for 60 years – The average British person only stays in their job for about five years. In honour of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development commissioned a study about employment during the Queen’s reign. When the Queen came to power in 1952, there weren’t microwaves, very few washing machines and definitely not mobile phones. Most of the women in the UK were still working at home and manufacturing jobs were still the bulk of employers. World War 2 was still a very conscious memory. The CIPD study is very comprehensive. Here are some other facts that CIPD discovered:

  •  The population has grown: The UK population is today a fifth larger than in 1952 – up from 50 million to 62.3 million in 2010 
  • More women are in the workplace: The female employment rate has risen from 35% to almost 71%. As a result, women now make up 46% of the workforce, an increase of 16 percentage points over 1952. 
  • Part Time employment has exploded: In the 1950s only 4% of people worked part-time; 60 years later the proportion is one in four (6.5 million employees).  
  • Manufacturing jobs have decreased, while service roles have increased: In the process the number of manufacturing jobs has fallen from 8.7 million in 1952 to 2.5 million at present, the share of manufacturing jobs in total employment falling from over a third to 8%. 
  • We work at smaller companies rather than massive larger companies. The size of the average workplace has been falling since the 1960s. At present 3.7 million people work in businesses with 1–9 employees and a further 3.3 million work in businesses with 10–49 employees.  
  • In the 1950’s there were more jobs than people. Today there are more people than jobs: Similarly, whereas in 1952 there were three job vacancies for every person registered as unemployed, today there are three people on Jobseeker’s Allowance for every vacancy.

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