Furloughing and COVID-19: assessing regulatory reform of the state

David A. Spencer, Mark Stuart, Chris Forde and Christopher J. McLachlan (2022), Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society

This article assesses regulatory reform of the state in the context of the move to furloughing in the UK. It establishes that furloughing was a successful response to the COVID-19 crisis, partly because it challenged the traditional UK crisis response of non-state intervention in the labour market. Furloughing prevented higher unemployment and enabled a swifter recovery. The article also identifes the limits of furloughing (not least its temporary nature) but argues that key lessons from furloughing (including the direct support for job retention) should be used to devise new state policies aimed at promoting a more sustainable and equal economy.

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