With the recession imminently set to end after six straight quarters of decline, figures suggest unemployment has been favourable compared with other crunches but GDP decline has been worse.
The Office for National Statistics has released data to compare the current recession with previous ones from the 1990s and 1980s for the two indices. The figures shows unemployment rose by a lot less than it did in the 1980-81 recession. Having begun at a similar level, unemployment now is 1.7% lower than it was after six quarters of the thrift of thirty years ago. Unemployment over the last year-and-a-half has grown at a similar rate to the 1990-1991 recession but the number of people out of a job started and finished two per cent higher that time around.
Over the last eighteen months GDP has fallen by six per cent, compared to 2.4% for the same period in the 1990s recession and 4.5% in the 1980s.
Revised figures also released today show that in the third quarter of 2009, GDP fell by 0.2 per cent on the quarter. Unemployment stands at 7.8 per cent.