Labour Market

Little sign of a recession: IEA expert responds to labour market stats


Energy and Environment

Andy Mayer quoted in City AM

Government and Institutions

Jamie Whyte writes in Conservative Home

Commenting on the latest labour market statistics, which showed the unemployment rate unchanged at  3.7 per cent, IEA Labour Market Expert Professor Len Shackleton, said:

“There remains little sign of a recession hitting the labour market. In fact, there continues to be a shortage of labour rather than a shortage of jobs – with unemployment remaining at a very low level and redundancies remain muted. 

“Workers may be able to feel secure in their jobs, but nevertheless, are experiencing a real terms decline in their earnings. The labour market figures may slightly exaggerate the fall in living standards, as they do not reflect government handouts. But there is no doubt that many workers are feeling the pinch – and this is reflected in continuing union militancy, particularly in the public sector.

“Tomorrow’s budget could offer some further mitigation via indirect tax cuts, but this is unlikely. We just have to hope that neo-austerity doesn’t further damage the prospects for economic growth, which would negatively impact the labour market.”


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The mission of the Institute of Economic Affairs is to improve understanding of the fundamental institutions of a free society by analysing and expounding the role of markets in solving economic and social problems. The IEA is a registered educational charity and independent of all political parties.