United Kingdom - Labour market strength and weaknesses assessed - October 31, 2016

The Centre for European Reform published a critical analysis of the strength and weaknesses of the economy and labour market. Contrary to much of the received wisdom, the UK has not been one of Europe’s economic stars over the last 15 years. In terms of economic growth per head, the performance has been in line with France. The citizens are no richer relative to the EU-15 average than they were 15 years ago, and the average worker has to work more hours than the EU-15 average to achieve that income. Productivity performance has been woeful, falling to just 90% of the EU-15 average. Wages have risen by much less than their French and German counterparts over the last 15 years. Moreover, the country is highly dependent on London and its environs. Apart from London, just one region (the south-east) has a GDP per capita in excess of the EU-15 average. The latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) report confirms the assessment. Productivity has been ‘unusually weak’ since the recession, slowing to just 0.1% per quarter since the end of 2008 compared with 0.5% in the decade prior. This has made the recovery from the downturn more fragile than in any other economic depression over the past 50 years. Growth in 'quality' was just 1.4% in 2015, its slowest rate since 2011, which points towards an increase in the proportion of jobs that are low-skilled and low-paid.

English: ...  

The ONS-report: ...   

The CER-report: ...    

For more information, please contact the editor Jan Cremers, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies (AIAS) or the communications officer at the ETUI, Willy De Backer For previous issues of the Collective bargaining newsletter please visit Since June 2013 readers can consult our archive and search through all articles in our database at www.cbnarchive.euYou may find further information on the ETUI at, and on the AIAS at

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