Full employment in Britain has lowered productivity instead of increasing wages

The UK jobs market is booming, as the latest ONS figures show. Unemployment is at its lowest for over 40 years. A record 32.1 million people are in employment, a rise of over 3 million since the financial crisis. Apart from in a few scattered pockets, Britain is at full employment. Usually in such circumstances, […]

Closing the gender pay gap

Those who were lucky enough to attend the Wimbledon Tennis Championships recently cannot have failed to take in the sense of tradition that surrounds those who pass through the gates of the All England Lawn Tennis Club. But in one important sense, Wimbledon is a beacon of progress in the UK – since 2007, the […]

‘Re-inventing’ London: Planning for the Future

London is changing.  But then, it always is.  The theme of my new book, ‘Reinventing London’ is that change is the lifeblood of a great city.  Over the past thirty years it has replaced around 1 million jobs in manufacturing, largely around the edge of the city and along the radial routes, with more than […]

Learn Maths, Young Person! The Secret of Success in the 21st Century

A currently fashionable pessimistic topic is the lifetime prospects of children born into the middle class. Graduate debt, lack of finance to buy homes and job insecurity after they graduate, the list goes on. Alan Milburn, the government’s ‘social mobility tsar’, put the seal of approval on this prevailing angst last month. His Social Mobility […]

How to unpick the apparent paradox of falling GDP and rising unemployment

GDP estimates are eagerly awaited in the City, and dominate the media headlines.  Huge significance is attached to arithmetically trivial differences, whether between market expectations and the announced figure, or to subsequent revisions to the data. But GDP is not something which can be put in a set of scales, say, and measured accurately.  The […]

How bad is this recession?

A number of commentators have pointed out that this is the slowest recovery from recession in more than a hundred year.  Taking output measures this is correct.  But taking employment as the main measure of recession it is not. Both the 1980s and the 1990s saw much sharper job losses, while the 1970s recession saw […]