To what extent have Demographic change and Employment/Unemployment levels affected the UK economy in recent years and how may they impact the economy in the future?
This essay will look into the recent impact of the demographic situation of the UK economy and also the recent levels of UK employment, and how they have also impacted the economy. Then there is the impact that these variables may have or are expected to have in the future on the UK economy as well. Demography is effectively the study of the characteristics of a population, and these characteristics all have an impact to some extent in the economy, so the management of maintaining these levels to a desired amount may seem to be instrumental to how an economy performs. Employment levels are also a key factor in how an economy performs, so the research I will partake in, should probably prove that these levels do in fact have a large impact on the UK economy and should continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Demographics as mentioned above are effectively the characteristics that define a countries population to some extent. Things measures are usually variables such as population size, the age of that population and the density in which that curtails, for example some areas being much more highly populated (crowded) than other more scarcely populated areas. The UK at the moment is demographically skewed towards an aging population as the working population is currently changing with an increase in the average age of employees (Redman and Wilkinson (2006)). There’s also a larger number of women and members of ethnic minority groups also forming todays workforce. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) in their 2011 census, estimated the UK population at just over 62 million, which is the third biggest in the EU. This leads to large figures for the UK’s population density due to the high amount of people compared to the country’s relatively small land mass. The UK’s population density locally can be seen to be relatively existent, as one-third of the country’s population live in the South-East. These statistics would suggest that, the UK economy will need to focus on providing as many jobs to match demand in the highly populated areas to maybe prevent the occurrence of ghost towns. There will also be a further need for housing not only now but in the future, as the UK population is estimated to grow by around 0.6% per year based on the changes between 2001 and 2010. So economically this may provide employment for the building industry, however could be a burden on the balance of payment deficit, if housing is perhaps overbuilt. The UK population as mentioned above is also an aging one. This is effectively largely down to the post World War Two baby boom. These babies born around this time are all now at the retirement age and therefore are not necessarily eligible to work. This economically leads to a few variables which may potentially be seen as undesirable. Firstly, there is the increased burden/cost on supplying health care, to support the aging population. There’s the potential burden on the government also, as more people may be receiving state pensions, so money is being drained by the public, perhaps extending the budget deficit. Also, there is the lack of supply for labour, as these people now retired, are unavailable for work, so other means may be required to rectify this situation. For example training regimes for young people and/or immigration. Immigration is a controversial subject currently in the UK with the slight rise in right wing political parties such as the UK independence party (UKIP) and the British National Party (BNP). Immigration is frowned upon by many in the host country as it seems that ‘outsiders’ are taking jobs which they feel belong to the British workers. However, the demographics of the UK economy suggest that immigration may really be needed to resolve the problems which at the moment, show a...
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