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The Uk Labour Market And The 2008-9 Recession


  • Paul Gregg

    (University of Bristol, CMPO and CEP)

  • Jonathan Wadsworth

    (Royal Holloway College, University of London, CEP, CReAM and IZA,


The recession of 2008-9 inflicted a larger cumulative loss of UK output than any of the other postwar recessions. Nevertheless, employment rates remained higher than might have been expected given the experience of previous recessions. The main reasons for this appear to be a combination of high firm profitability levels going into the recession, supportive monetary and fiscal policies during the recession, reductions in real producer wages and relatively buoyant real consumer wages. Unemployment had reached its lowest levels for 30 years going in to the latest recession and has also remained relatively subdued through the downturn, certainly compared to previous recessions. A combination of lower inflow rates into unemployment, allied with a relatively higher outflow rate into employment underlie this. As government support for the economy is scaled back, it may be however that it will take a long time for employment to return to levels last seen before the recession.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul Gregg & Jonathan Wadsworth, 2010. "The Uk Labour Market And The 2008-9 Recession," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 212(1), pages 61-72, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:niesru:v:212:y:2010:i:1:p:r61-r72

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Frances Ruane & Xiaoheng Zhang, 2007. "Location Choices of the Pharmaceutical Industry in Europe after 1992," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp220, IIIS.
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    Cited by:

    1. Daniel Vaughan-Whitehead (ed.), 2011. "Work Inequalities in the Crisis," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 14602, April.
    2. Damian Grimshaw & Anthony Rafferty, 2011. "Social Impact of the Crisis in the United Kingdom: Focus on Gender and Age Inequalities," Chapters,in: Work Inequalities in the Crisis, chapter 13 Edward Elgar Publishing.

    More about this item


    Labour market; recession; unemployment; wages;


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