Connected Research

Union policy research in the 21st century

TUC Recession Report No. 14

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The TUC has published its most recent Recession Report, which can be accessed via Nicola Smith’s blog posting on ToUChstone here.

The headline facts are that 2.491m people are unemployed, at an unemployment rate of 7.9%. Unemployment has increased by 30,000 on the month and 608,000 on the year, while the rate is unchanged on the quarter but up by 1.9 percentage points on the year. The employment rate is currently 72.5%, with no change on last month or on the quarter, but down by 1.7 percentage points on the year.

So, the figures on unemployment continue to show a slowing trend but that recovery remains a good way off, with unemployment unlikely to fall for some time after the economy emerges from recession. Part-time working shows a sharp increase, partly as a result of involuntary part-time working; the number of discouraged workers  (those becoming economically inactive because they cannot find work, but who don’t as a result show up in the unemployment figures) is on the increase; and long-term unemployment is on the rise.

This month’s special focus of the report is the links between unemployment and physical and mental health, with a lengthy review of the literature on the issue (to which a commentator on the blog has usefully added further references). Evidently, unemployment adds insecurity and stress to everyone, including those out of work faced with increased money, security and relationship worries, while those in employment are faced with higher workloads and the fear of the dole. Individuals’ mental health can be fragile enough and the pressures caused by recession are often sufficient to deepen, as well as to widen, the worries which affect mental health. Reason enough, as the report argues, to require proper policy attention to unemployment and for a clear strategy to deal proactively with it.

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Written by Calvin

08/01/2010 at 8:30 pm

Posted in Economic trends

Tagged with , ,

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