Did the reforms address problems of "idleness"?


One way in which the government kept almost full employment was through nationalisation. Industries in Britain were brought under the control of the government.

Details and successes

  • steel, iron, gas, coal, electricity industries and the railways were nationalised in order to create and maintain job levels
  • nationalisation helped the government manage the economy
  • tax money could be used to keep an industry afloat in times of economic difficulties
  • supporting industries could be used to avoid job losses
  • the Labour government succeeded in its commitment to maintain high levels of employment after the war
  • by 1946, unemployment was reduced to 2.5 per cent
  • this was in spite of huge post-war problems, such as shortages of raw materials and massive war debts


  • nationalisation did little to improve working efficiency in these industries
  • supported by taxation money, these industries had limited incentive to be profitable
  • wages and working conditions remained generally unimproved