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Healthy rebalancing of GDP growth but underemployment remains a concern

Angelo Evangelou

29 April 2014

 Commenting on today's GDP figures, Geraint Johnes, director at The Work Foundation, said:

“The latest data indicate that, in the first quarter of this year, GDP grew by 0.8%. This implies a very healthy 3.1% growth over the course of the last year. The performance across sectors is uneven, with particularly strong growth in manufacturing and in distribution. Manufacturing grew by 1.3% over the quarter, and by 3.5% over the year. This is clearly good news in that it addresses concerns that the UK had, before the recession, become over-reliant on services.

“The evidence that this recovery is spatially uneven suggests that the very encouraging aggregate statistics may serve to conceal what is, in reality, a much more nuanced picture. The data on underemployment, released by the Work Foundation, likewise suggest that the impact of output growth on the labour market is very different to – and less comforting than - what we have experienced in the past. Nevertheless these most recent data offer much hope that the economy is indeed recovering.”


Notes to editors

1. Geraint Johnes, director, and Ian Brinkley, chief economist, are both available for interviews, briefings and written comment.
2. The Bell-Blanchflower index on underemployment is available on The Work Foundation’s website -
3. The Work Foundation aims to be the leading independent, international authority on work and its future, influencing policy and practice for the benefit of society. The Work Foundation is part of Lancaster University – an alliance that enables both organisations to further enhance their impact.

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