The UK economy grew by 0.9 per cent in the third quarter of 2012, following three consecutive quarters of negative growth. Despite being revised down by 0.1 percentage points from the previous estimate, the latest quarterly growth rate remains the strongest since the third quarter of 2007. Unusual factors in the second and third quarters are thought to have been partly responsible for this. In the second quarter, the poor weather and the loss of a working day due to the Diamond Jubilee may have reduced output. In contrast, hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games in the third quarter may have supported output.
Employment rose for the fourth consecutive quarter in Q3 2012 with an increase of 100 thousand people. Employment has been resilient throughout the recession and recovery. Throughout the period Q1 2008 to Q3 2012, the employment level fell by only 2.4% at its lowest point, while output fell by more than 6 per cent. Total employment has now recovered to the pre-recession level although there are fewer people in full-time employment and more people in part-time employment, however output remains 3 per cent lower.
The most recent Labour Statistics release contained the workforce jobs by industry figures for September. Workforce jobs increased by 43 thousand (0.1 per cent) between June and September 2012 but was not evenly distributed across the sectors. Growth in workforce jobs was seen in the services (0.3 per cent) and production (0.4 per cent) sectors, whereas the construction sector continued to decline (-0.4 per cent).
Source: Office for National Statistics
GDP: chained volume measures, seasonally adjusted, Office for National Statistics (ABMI)
Employment level: aged 16 years and over, seasonally adjusted, Labour Force Survey, Office for National Statistics (MGRZ)
Total weekly hours: hours worked by people aged 16 years and over, seasonally adjusted, Labour Force Survey, Office for National Statistics (YBUS)
GDP data is from "Quarterly National Accounts - Q3 2012" published on the 21 December 2012.
Labour Market data is from the latest "Labour Market Statistical Bulletin" published on the 12 December 2012.
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