The good thing about economic slumps used to be that they were followed by a boom. But this seems no longer to be the case. We are now coming out of the great recession of the early 1980s. Economic growth is picking up, and unemployment falling a few percentage points. But the improvements that are being forecast will still leave us with unemployment at levels — perhaps 8 per cent of the labour force, if we are very lucky — which only a decade ago would have marked the most vicious of slumps. Indeed, the really disturbing thing about the recent recession is not that it has been worse than any other of the post-war period, unpleasant though this fact may be. What is really worrying is that almost every recession since 1950 was the worst to date; that every recovery or boom was weaker than the last.
KeywordsLabour Force Productivity Growth Consumer Price Index Great Recession Annual Percentage Change
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
Notes and References
- 1.The classic references are A. W. Phillips, ‘The Relationship between Unemployment and the Rate of Change of Money Wage Rates in the United Kingdom, 1861–1957’, Economica, vol. 25 (1958) pp. 283–99;Google Scholar
- The Phillips paper is reprinted in J. R. Ball and Peter Doyle (eds) Inflation (Penguin, 1969).Google Scholar