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Monthly Archives: April 2012

No recovery in sight for Labour markets

This is the view of the global employment situation according to the International Labour Organisation (ILO), in its World of Work Report 2012: Better Jobs for a Better Economy”. The report says that there are still 50 million less jobs available than were there before the global crisis, and warned that an even more problematic job phase was emerging. The … Continue reading

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Big divergence in labour costs within the EU

The average hourly labour costs were estimated to be €23.1 in the EU27 business economy in 2011, and €27.6 in the euro area (EA17), according to statistics just published by eurostat. However, this average masks significant differences between Member States, with hourly labour costs ranging from €3.5 to €39.3. Labour costs are made up of costs for wages and salaries, … Continue reading

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If only a double-dip was an ice cream

In the last few minutes it has just been announced that the UK is officially back in recession. Gross Domestic Product fell by 0.2% in the first quarter of this year, which follows on from a decline of 0.3% in the fourth quarter of last year. The official definition of a recession is two consecutive quarters of negative growth. And, … Continue reading

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Government borrowing finishes year on target

Government borrowing in March, the final month of the financial year, came in at £18.2bn, according to the measure which ignores the temporary effects of financial interventions which include bank bail-outs. Many analysts thought the figure would have been lower, but it was offset by a revised figure for February borrowing which was slashed by £3bn. The Office for Budget … Continue reading

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Inflation to stay above target and unemployment to rise to 3 million

This is included in the latest forecast from the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr), which has been voted the best GDP forecaster for 2011. The Cebr forecasts that increases in oil and commodity prices – reflecting the impact of quantitative easing in the US and Eurozone – mean that their inflation forecast has had to be raised sharply … Continue reading

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The problem of underemployment

We had the latest unemployment figures released this week which made good reading – at least on the surface. The number of unemployed people fell by 35,000 over the quarter to February 2012 to reach 2.65 million. This meant that the unemployment rate fell to 8.3% from 8.4% on the quarter according to the Labour Force Survey findings. But, there … Continue reading

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It’s only business investment which can save the economy

This is the substance of an economic forecast just released by the Ernst & Young ITEM Club. Whilst acknowledging that the UK may have been saved from a double dip recession by a ‘loose’ monetary policy, the ITEM Club believes that UK GDP growth will be a dismal 0.4% this year, before rising to 1.5% in 2013 and 2.6% in … Continue reading

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