Recession in the UK

The UK economic data for Q4 2010 was staggeringly bad. The economy contracted by 0.5% when economists had predicted growth of around 0.5%. If the next set of UK numbers look like this then the country will be officially back in recession – the dreaded ‘double-dip’ where growth is not strong enough to sustain recovery from the last recession.

The economic downturn at the end of the past decade was the worst I have known in my life. In 2008, I lost all of my clients and I was also in the middle of getting divorced – so I was paying for two houses in London. Not the ideal time to be increasing costs and reducing income! Still, I rode that out with a reduction in savings, I found new clients, and now I have moved to Brazil where the economy is growing.

But when I look back at the UK now, I can see so many more real problems that I could never see before, not least in terms of economic stagnation. I don’t mean in the terms an economist would use, I just mean in human terms.

Food prices are going up, it’s harder to borrow money for major purchases such as a house, fuel costs are increasing… but worst of all, I know of at least four friends who are searching for a job. Highly skilled, qualified, experienced, and able people out there searching for work. I’ve never seen this before even back in the hard times of the early 90s or the dot com crash a decade ago.

If the people in London with degrees and experience are getting turfed out into the gutter, then what’s happening to less affluent parts of the UK – especially where they depend heavily on the public sector for work? Wait and see, because the public sector job cuts are only just beginning…
Who Moved My Job?

5 responses to “Recession in the UK

  1. Nick Gilmartin

    Speaking personally Mark it is bloody horrible. I moved to the West Midlands last year, in the middle of a triangle Birmingham-Coventry-Leicester and I can’t find work anywhere. I come from the hotel trade, normally we have a constant turn-over of staff because of the international nature of hotels. But predicted room sales for next year are down 50% (according to the Caterer and Hotelkeeper). Truly a frightening prospect.

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  3. I’ve just read your book and thought it was a useful parable. I’d recommend it to my friend who works in adult education, if it wasn’t for the fact that his job is under threat. I’m currently going through my job being migrated to India: for the second time, in the same organisation! I’m still optimistic, but the large redundancy payment obviously helps.

    • Hi Tanya, I’m sorry to hear that. I was laid off in 2002 after the banks all went through a crisis then so I know it’s no fun at all… The point of my blog was just to note that even though we have seen recessions before, I have never seen it so personal, so many friends searching for work… perhaps the recession never really ended?

  4. ” …perhaps the recession never really ended?”

    If the economy (i.e. our jobs) are sustained for years and years to some % by government and consumer debt rather than productivity, at some point something bad will happen, and it wont all go back to normal in an 18 month period. It’s a miracle we’re not in far more trouble. It’s a bit worrying.

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