Connected Research

Union policy research in the 21st century

TUC Recession Report No. 15

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The TUC has just produced its latest Recession Report, accessible here at Nicola Smith’s ToUChstone blog posting. This is the penultimate in the series given that data shows the economy no longer to be contracting – so an official, if somewhat marginal, end to the recession has been achieved. (On this point, see also Adam Lent’s post on why the recovery has been so anaemic in the UK).

The headline data are that: 2.458m are unemployed (down on the month and on the quarter, but up by more than half a million on the year) – at a rate of 7.8% (a slight drop on the month and unchanged on the quarter, but up by 1.6 percentage points on the year). The employment rate of the working age population now stands at 72.4%, down by 0.1 percentage points on the quarter and by 1.7 points on the year. The headline figures are, once again, more positive than expected but evidence of a sustained recovery on the employment market is not yet here and long-term unemployment also continues to demonstrate cause for concern.

The second part to the Report continues the social theme of the previous edition’s specific area of focus, which looked at the effects of unemployment on physical and mental health, by looking at the other social effects of recession, including on poverty, happiness, family life, crime, drug and alcohol use and on the prospects for the children of unemployed people. Nicola had blogged previously on the question of how a ‘social recession’ could be measured and had suggested that the view was, on the whole, satisfactory despite some areas of concern. Here, too, the report argues that, while the UK is weathering this recession rather better than those of the 1980s and 1990s, the negative social effects of rising unemployment will continue to cause damage for some years to come. An important lesson for those advocating harsh cuts to expenditure: cuts are not only economically regressive, they leave the social scars festering, too.

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Written by Calvin

29/01/2010 at 2:05 pm

Posted in Economic trends

Tagged with , ,

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