The British economy’s long bath

Despite the return in employment levels to 2008, the graphs printed in the Financial Times celebrating Osbo’s supposed success actually show that this is still a country of stagnating wages. In real terms, wages have fallen by 12 % since this squalid crew took power. Osborne is expecting a big tax boost in January from the self-employed, but this is frequently low paid, part time work, and so no-one really knows how well this will work out. And if the interest rate rises about 3 per cent, the number of people struggling pay off their mortgages will double. And the economists really can only guess at how things will go on from here. In short, Osbo and the FT are telling porkies when they say everything will be fine and rosy. It doesn’t matter what they say, the figures and charts they use show the opposite.

Flip Chart Fairy Tales

This was a watershed month for the UK’s slow recovery, with a number of things finally getting back to where they were before the recession. In July, GDP, the employment rate and the number of full-time jobs edged above 2008 levels. The FT did a celebratory piece this weekend with some great charts from Chris Giles.

When you look at the per capita figures, though, things don’t look quite so good. The population has risen since 2008, so, once you divide it up, 2008’s GDP doesn’t go as far.

Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 12.55.28

The employment figures tall a similar story. The rate might be back where it was before the recession but the net increase in jobs has been almost entirely due to part-time and self employment.

Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 13.01.40

As Michael remarked:

Put plainly, what it shows is that the recovery of the employment rate to previous levels has been driven entirely by growth in numbers of people who…

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