GDP increased by 0.8% in Q3 2013 following two consecutive quarters of positive growth. As a result GDP has grown by 1.5% over the last year. However, GDP still remains 2.5% below its pre-downturn peak in Q1 2008.
Growth was widespread, with increases in each of the four main aggregates. Output increased by 1.4% in agriculture, 0.5% in production, 2.5% in construction, and 0.7% in services. While all sectors made positive contributions to GDP, the services sector continued to act as the main driver, contributing 0.6 percentage points to GDP growth in Q3 2013.
Labour market statistics for Q3 2013 showed the sixth consecutive quarterly rise in employment with the employment rate now standing at 71.8%, up from 71.5% in Q2 2013. Over the same quarter, the unemployment rate fell by 0.2 percentage points to 7.6%, while total weekly hours increased for the ninth successive quarter to reach 962.7 million hours.
Since the start of the downturn in 2008, the labour market has been resilient; employment not falling to the same extent as output, and exceeding its pre-downturn peak in Q1 2013. However, there have been significant changes to the composition of employment.
Reaching a trough of 18.7 million in Q1 2010, from its peak of 19.0 million in Q2 2008, the number of full-time employees has fallen faster than total employment, and over the whole period since Q1 2008 has followed a broadly similar trend to GDP. At the same time, there was growth in part-time employment and in the number of self-employed.
However in recent quarters, while the levels of those self-employed and/or working part-time have remained relatively strong, growth appears to be returning to full-time employees. Between Q2 and Q3 2013, full-time employees increased by 124,000 and on the year it increased by 368,000.
Despite this, for Q3 2013, there were 1.46 million employees and self-employed people who were working part-time because they could not find a full-time job, the highest level since records began in 1992. Almost a third of male employees and self-employed people who were working part-time were doing so because they could not find a full-time job. The corresponding figure for women was 13.5%.
Source: Office for National Statistics
GDP: chained volume measures, seasonally adjusted, Office for National Statistics (ABMI)
Employment level: All aged 16 and over, seasonally adjusted, Labour Force Survey, Office for National Statistics (MGRZ)
Total weekly hours (millions), seasonally adjusted, Labour Force Survey, Office for National Statistics (YBUS)
Unemployment level: All aged 16 and over, seasonally adjusted, Labour Force Survey, Office for National Statistics (MGSC)
GDP data is from the "Gross Domestic Product: Preliminary Estimate - Q3 2013" published on the 25 October 2013.
Labour Market data is from the "Labour Market Statistics - November 2013" published on the 13 November 2013.
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