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GDP and the Labour Market, Q2 2011

Released: 05 October 2011 Download PDF

GDP - comparing recessions

2008 Q1 to present

GDP - comparing recessions

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UK GDP fell 7.1 per cent in 2008-09 recession

GDP growth in the second quarter was revised down to 0.1 per cent. The downward revision was due to a 0.3 percentage point cut in services sector growth, partly offset by a 0.6 percentage point upward revision to the construction sector growth and a less negative growth rate for the production sector revised from   -1.6 per cent to -1.2 per cent.

Growth in the first quarter was also revised down from 0.5 per cent to 0.4 per cent, mainly due to lower services sector growth down from 0.9 per cent to 0.7 per cent.

The contraction in the fourth quarter of 2010 and the relatively modest growth in the first and second quarters of 2011 mean that GDP, in real terms, is broadly unchanged from its level three quarters earlier.

These revisions reflect a combination of new data being taken on as well as a wide range of methodological and classification changes that have been made to the national accounts, and are integrated to the Quarterly National Accounts released today. These changes have impacted on quarterly and annual GDP growth back to 1997. On balance, the changes have tended to lead to upward revisions to GDP growth in chain volume terms in most years, but for 2008, the revisions were downward. Overall the recession is now one quarter shorter, but deeper by 0.5 percentage points than shown in previously published figures. The peak-to-trough fall in output from 2008 Q1 and 2009 Q2 is now estimated at 7.1 per cent. 

Employment and GDP growth

Q2 2011

Employment and GDP growth

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The labour market weakened in 2011 Q2 with the unemployment rate rising

The employment level increased by 25,000 in 2011 Q2, while the employment rate was unchanged from 2011 Q1 at 70.7 per cent. Compared to the same quarter last year the employment rate has risen 0.2 percentage points with 251,000 more people in employment.

The increase in total employment this quarter was driven by an increase of 49,000 in full time employment. The number of people in full-time employment stands at 21.35 million in 2011 Q2. This compares to a reduction in part time employment of 24,000 bringing the total number of those working part time to 7.92 million.

Self employment increased by 24,000 and employees increased by 36,000 in 2011 Q2. These increases were partly offset by declines in government supported trainees and unpaid family workers, resulting in the rise in employment of 25,000.

Unemployment has increased by 38,000 quarter-on-quarter with the unemployment rate rising on the quarter to 7.9 per cent but virtually unchanged compared to 2010 Q2.
The claimant count rose 37,000 in July 2011 taking the total number claiming to 1.56 million, approximately 100,000 higher than July 2010.

In Q2 2011, vacancies fell 25,000 to 458,000. Vacancies are 26,000 lower than 2010 Q2.

Source: Office for National Statistics

Background notes

  1. Sources:
    Gross Domestic Product (ABMI): chained volume measures, seasonally adjusted, Office for National Statistics.

    Total employment level (MGRZ), self-employment level (MGRQ), full time employment level (YCBE), part-time employment level (YCBH): Labour Force Survey, all those aged 16 and over, seasonally adjusted, Office for National Statistics.

  2. GDP estimate for quarter two from Gross Domestic Product: Quarterly National Accounts – Q2 2011 published on 05 October 2011.

    Labour Market estimates for Q2 are available from the Labour Market Statistical Bulletin published on 17 August 2011.

  3. Details of the policy governing the release of new data are available by visiting or from the Media Relations Office email:

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