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Job is key to wellbeing, says study

Being employed has the largest impact on people's wellbeing - not their salary, a study into life satisfaction has found.

It also revealed that despite one in eight people facing financial difficulties, most have enjoyed a stable quality of life over the last decade, the Office for National Statistics said.

A study measuring people's social, environmental and economic happiness alongside the traditional measure of GDP has provided a complete snapshot of life in Britain for the first time.

It found that mental health problems remain an important issue across all of society and that emotional development in young children is vital to help them succeed in later life.

Prime Minister David Cameron launched the Measuring National Wellbeing programme in November 2010 after deciding that the Government needed to be informed not only on economic progress but also on public wellbeing.

Lord Gus O'Donnell, the former Cabinet Secretary who is chairing the Government's Well Being Commission, said he hoped the data, which will be collected annually, could be used to revolutionise the future of policy making.

"We need to come up with some guidance on how to turn these ideas into practical policy conclusions.

"It will revolutionise public policy, not just in the UK but globally. We have the potential to transform the way people talk about this."

David Halpern, of the Cabinet Office, said it would be a "long road" but agreed there were areas where the research could have a "significant impact".

He said the research could fuel the debate about the expansion of the National Citizen Service, which would cost the Government millions of pounds but have a long-term wellbeing effect on people's lives, according to the report.


From Belfast Telegraph