What makes a job ‘good’? In the midst of a jobs-rich recovery, attention inevitably shifts to the quality of the jobs being created – both in terms of the contribution to national productivity, and the qualitative experience of those undertaking the work. In these terms at least, it is not evident that the picture is entirely rosy: there are outstanding questions in terms of pay, productivity, security and job satisfaction.

This collection brings together a wide range of contributors to address these questions, in turn providing an overview of what might be meant by ‘good jobs’, and how we might create more of them. It begins with the views of the public, who suggest that opportunities for progression, job satisfaction and having a stake in the business are the conditions they consider important for a good job. But contributors including John Philpott, Julia Goldsworthy, Baroness Kingsmill, Ryan Shorthouse, Ian Tomlinson-Roe and Duncan O’Leary also address the growth in self-employment, the productivity puzzle, employee engagement and employee voice.

Good Jobs also provides insight into the incentives acting on businesses and whole sectors in terms of progression, influence, pay and conditions, including the public sector, which often suffers from poor employee satisfaction. Finally, across the contributions there are a wealth of measures that could help with the move towards a labour market full of good jobs. Now that we are well into economic recovery, it is time to start thinking about how we use our time at work more productively, with benefits both to GDP and our own wellbeing.