Labour Market Measures in United Kingdom 2008–13: The Crisis and Beyond

The British economy was considered to be in good shape prior to the beginning of the crisis. Actually, the great recession marked the end of a remarkable period of uninterrupted growth. From 1993 to 2007, year-on-year GDP growth averaged a remarkable 3.0 per cent, never falling below 1.2 per cent during this 60-quarter period. Consequently, the unemployment rate declined steadily during the 1990s, finally sta­ ilizing at around 5 per cent at the beginning of the previous decade, and remaining under 6 per cent until the start of the crisis. The good performance of the labour market was helped during the first half of the previous decade by the public sector, which added jobs at a higher rate than the private sector. In particular, during the period 1999–2005, the National Health Service (NHS) expanded by more than 300,000 employees and almost an additional 200,000 people started working for the Education sector.