Official third quarter GDP figures from the Office for
National Statistics, show the UK economy contracted by an
estimated 0.4% in the three months to September.
Dr John Philpott, chief economist at the Chartered Institute
of Personnel and Development (CIPD), described the news
as ‘desperately disappointing’, which makes
the recession look more like a depression, and demolishes
any prospect there was of an early improvement in the outlook
for jobs and pay.
“The UK economy is continuing to shrink, with six
quarters of contraction in output making this recession
look more like a depression. This is desperately disappointing
news, especially given that it was hoped that a modest recovery
"There are already 600,000 fewer people in work than
at the start of the recession, 3.3 million fewer hours being
worked each week, one in three employers operating pay freezes
for staff and one in ten having already cut staff pay.
"This situation was never going to improve overnight
and today’s news of a continued slide in the economy
pushes any labour market recovery further into the distance."
Unemployment, he said will continue to rise well into 2010.
"Modest economic growth and the need for businesses
to raise productivity and restore profitability will then
result in a jobs-light recovery and a prolonged squeeze
on pay-packets lasting well into the next decade.
"For most UK workers the pain of recession goes on
and the subsequent ‘jobs light-pay tight’ recovery
won’t feel much better.”