• Research Briefing

    Economic Indicators, May 2011

    This Research Paper series summarises the main economic indicators currently available for the UK, along with comparisons with other major OECD countries. The ONS’s first estimate of Q1 2011 GDP showed that the economy grew by 0.5% compared with the previous quarter. Growth in Q1 came from the manufacturing sector (up by 1.1%) and the services sector (up by 0.9%). However, overall GDP growth was reined in by a steep decline in construction output (down by 4.7%). The Q1 outturn followed a 0.5% decline in GDP in Q4 2010 when bad weather was blamed for the contraction in activity. Taking the two quarters together, economic output remained unchanged over the six month period October 2010-March 2011.

  • Research Briefing

    Unemployment by Constituency, April 2011

    This paper presents labour market data for Parliamentary Constituencies. A summary of the latest national and regional labour market data is given, along with a selection of relevant constituency-level indicators including the latest Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) claimant count data. The latest data show: Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) claimant count unemployment increased by 700 in March 2011 to 1.45 million. The wider ILO-based measure of unemployment was 2.48 million in the period December-February 2011, a fall of 17,000 from the last quarter. The number of people in employment aged 16 and over rose by 143,000 over the last quarter to 29.23 million (December-February 2011). This edition of Unemployment by Constituency contains a special section on long-term unemployment, as well as the regular monthly analysis of the national figures, and maps and tables with unemployment statistics for every constituency

  • Research Briefing

    Economic Indicators, April 2011

    This Research Paper series summarises the main economic indicators currently available for the UK, along with comparisons with other major OECD countries. The decline in Q4 2010 GDP was revised from 0.6% to 0.5%. ONS estimated that if the effects of December’s winter weather were excluded, GDP would have been unchanged. Although data from early 2011 is mixed, the economy is likely to have returned to growth in Q1. The manufacturing sector continues to expand strongly and business confidence indicators are generally positive. However, with earnings growth failing to keep pace with rising inflation, consumer expenditure – which makes up around two-thirds of GDP – is likely to remain subdued in the near future.

  • Research Briefing

    Economic Indicators, Budget update

    Recent data show unemployment rose to its highest level since 1994 in the three months to January and CPI inflation increased to 4.4% in February (compared with average earnings growth of 2.3%). Meanwhile, public finance statistics show that for the first 11 months of fiscal year 2010/11 the government borrowed nearly 10% less than in the same period of 2009/10. As a result, full-year borrowing in 2010/11 is likely to be less than the OBR’s November forecast of £149 billion. For more information see the Library’s background briefing to the Budget. Following the Budget an additional Library briefing will be available

  • Research Briefing

    Unemployment by constituency, March 2011

    This paper presents labour market data for Parliamentary Constituencies. A summary of the latest national and regional labour market data is given, along with a selection of relevant constituency-level indicators including the latest Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) claimant count data.JSA claimant count unemployment decreased by 10,200 in February 2011 to 1.45 million The wider ILO measure of unemployment rose to 2.53 million in the period November-January 2011, the highest level since 1994. Employment in the public sector fell by 45,000 over the last quarter to 6.2 million (December 2010), while employment in the private sector rose by 77,000 to 23.0 million. This was made up of a 56,000 increase in the number of people aged 65 and over in employment, while for all other age groups (ages 16-64) employment fell by 24,000.This edition of Unemployment by Constituency contains a special section on job vacancy statistics.

  • Research Briefing

    Economic Indicators, March 2011

    This Research Paper series summarises the main economic indicators currently available for the UK, along with comparisons with other major OECD countries. Revisions to Q4 2010 GDP showed the economy had contracted more sharply than first thought, -0.6% compared with an initial figure of -0.5%. In addition, unemployment remains stuck around 2.5 million and average earnings are growing at around half the rate of inflation. Other indicators are more positive. The manufacturing sector is growing strongly, business sentiment is improving and retail sales recovered in January. [Article: 'Lending to small businesses' and 'The UK's aid programmes - where is the money going?']

  • Research Briefing

    Unemployment by Constituency, February 2011

    This paper presents labour market data for Parliamentary Constituencies. A summary of the latest national and regional labour market data is given, along with a selection of relevant constituency-level indicators including the latest Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) claimant count data. The latest data show: JSA claimant count unemployment increased by 2,400 in January 2011 to 1.46 million The wider ILO measure of unemployment was 2.49 million in the period October-December 2010, a rise of 44,000 from the last quarter. The unemployment rate was 7.9%, 0.1 percentage points higher than the last quarter. The number of people who have been unemployed (ILO measure) for longer than twelve months increased by 17,000 over the last quarter to 833,000.

  • Research Briefing

    Education Bill [Bill 137 of 2010-11]

    This paper has been written for the House of Commons Second Reading debate on the Education Bill [Bill 137] on 8 February 2011. The Bill seeks to implement the legislative proposals in the Department for Education’s schools White Paper, 'The Importance of Teaching', and measures from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills relating to skills and the reform of higher education funding. It is therefore a very wide-ranging Bill.

  • Research Briefing

    Economic Indicators, February 2011

    This Research Paper series summarises the main economic indicators currently available for the UK, along with comparisons with other major OECD countries. The 0.5% contraction in GDP in Q4 2010 surprised most economists who had predicted modest growth. The ONS blamed the impact of December’s weather for some, but not all, of the weakness. This together with other recent economic data – particularly increasing unemployment, rising inflation and falling consumer confidence – further amplify the uncertainty about the economy in 2011. [Articles:'GDP growth: It was the weather - wasn't it?' and 'Working out work - what's happening in the labour market?']

  • Research Briefing

    Unemployment by Constituency, January 2011

    This paper presents labour market data for Parliamentary Constituencies. A summary of the latest national and regional labour market data is given, along with a selection of relevant constituency-level indicators including the latest Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) claimant count data. The latest data show: JSA claimant count unemployment fell by 4,100 in December 2010 to 1.46 million. The wider ILO-based measure of unemployment was 2.50 million in the period September-November 2010, a rise of 49,000 from the last quarter. The unemployment rate was 7.9. This edition of Unemployment by Constituency contains a special section on how unemployment and employment vary by age

  • Research Briefing

    Economic Indicators, January 2011

    This Research Paper series summarises the main economic indicators currently available for the UK, along with comparisons with other major OECD countries. Latest data from the labour market show the unemployment rate rising to 7.9% in the three months to October, the first quarterly increase since April. The number of people in employment fell during the same period, with the number of people in full-time employment still lower compared with a year ago. These figures, together with tax increases and above-target inflation, make for an uncertain economic outlook in 2011. [Articles:'The VAT increase' and 'Eurozone debt crises']

  • Research Briefing

    Unemployment by Constituency, December 2010

    This paper presents labour market data for Parliamentary Constituencies. A summary of the latest national and regional labour market data is given, along with a selection of relevant constituency-level indicators including the latest Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) claimant count data.

  • Research Briefing

    Welfare to work programmes: an overview

    This note provides an overview of the main back-to-work schemes that offer support to unemployed individuals in their job search. The system is currently in a state of transition between the New Deal programmes of the previous Government and the Coalition Government's policy of replacing them with a new scheme called the Work Programme by summer 2011.

  • Research Briefing

    Economic Indicators, December 2010

    This Research Paper series summarises the main economic indicators currently available for the UK, along with comparisons with other major OECD countries. Quarterly GDP growth of 0.8% in Q3 was confirmed, with broad gains across all sectors of the economy. Consumer spending in Q3 increased by only 0.3%, compared with a 0.7% rise in Q2, while government expenditure increased by 0.4% compared with a 1.0% rise in Q2. Exports rose by 2.2% in Q3; with imports increasing by only 0.7%, net trade provided a large positive contribution to overall GDP growth, raising hopes that the economy is starting to rebalance. [Articles:'Quantitative Easing - how does it work?' and 'Businesses and recession']

  • Research Briefing

    Unemployment by constituency, November 2010

    This paper presents labour market data for parliamentary constituencies. A summary of the latest national and regional labour market data is given, along with a selection of relevant constituency-level indicators including the latest Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) claimant count data.