Economist says recession is more like a depression 27/10/09

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 had begun.

"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.”

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