IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Underemployment In The Uk In The Great Recession

Listed author(s):
  • David N.F. Bell

    (Department of Economics, University of Stirling and IZA

  • David G. Blanchflower

    (Economics Department, Dartmouth College, University of Stirling, IZA, CESifo and NBER

Registered author(s):

    One of the main puzzles associated with the Great Recession has been the muted increase in recorded unemployment in the UK. In this paper we explore possible explanations for the behaviour of the UK labour market during the period of the recession. We establish that there has been significant underemployment, which partly explains the sluggish increase in unemployment, but also means that (i) significant numbers of workers are supplying fewer hours of work than they would like and (ii) when recovery comes, profit maximising employers are likely to increase the hours of existing workers, rather than making new hires. This particularly disadvantages the young. Our new analysis points to significant levels of underemployment among younger age groups - whether this is measured in relation to their actual hours of work, their desired hours of work, or their labour force participation.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Article provided by National Institute of Economic and Social Research in its journal National Institute Economic Review.

    Volume (Year): 215 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 1 (January)
    Pages: 23-33

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:sae:niesru:v:215:y:2011:i:1:p:r23-r33
    Contact details of provider: Postal:
    2 Dean Trench Street, Smith Square, London SW1P 3HE

    Phone: +44 (020) 7222 7665
    Fax: +44 (020) 7654 1900
    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:sae:niesru:v:215:y:2011:i:1:p:r23-r33. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (SAGE Publications)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.