GDP and Unemployment for Great Britain Term Paper

Pages: 3 (842 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Economics

GDP and Unemployment for Great Britain

GDP/Unemployment Chart, United Kingdom, 1960-2005

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Term Paper on GDP and Unemployment for Great Britain Assignment

It could reasonably be said that until 1960, the United Kingdom was either suffering from a post-War recessionary periods a result of the cost of World War II, or it could be said to have been basking in the post-War boom. In either case, modern economic cycles were probably not established until about 1960, when all the soldiers who had come home 15 years earlier had gone to work, purchased housing and begun families. Indeed, until that time, there was a great push toward a welfare state in the United Kingdom, a push that came to an end when, in 1959, Great Britain helped to found the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), a forerunner of the European Economic Community (EEC), which was a forerunner of today's European Union. "Labour returned to power in 1964 under Harold Wilson, and the steel industry was renationalized. The country faced the compound economic problems of a very unfavourable balance of trade, the instability of the pound sterling, a lagging rate of economic growth, and inflationary wages and prices" (Columbia Encyclopedia, 2004, p. 19950). This was followed by a crisis in pounds sterling, which was followed by the government imposing controls and making cutbacks in service (Columbia Encyclopaedia, 2004). By 1970, the conservative government suffered the worse economic crisis since World War II. There was also serious inflation and a great deal of labour unrest and a large balance of payments deficit. These events, and more, coming in a cluster, made it difficult for labour. Although the GDP did not suffer enormously, until 1980, the figures for unemployment were high, and increasing. Unfortunately, the figures for GDP, one measure of the financial health of a nation, were not at all robust; indeed, they barely make it onto the charts in the first twenty years being tracked. Toward the end of that era, in 1974, there was a coal miners' strike that was costly to the economy, although this may have been partially offset by teh3 fact that, in the middle of that decade, the North Sea oil fields were opened (Columbia Encyclopaedia, 2004).

In 1979, Margaret Thatcher, "who set out to reverse the post-war trend toward socialism, was elected. She also broke union power in many instances, partially by fostering a series of laws that made secondary (sympathy) strikes and boycotts illegal.

By 1980, the GDP and unemployment had begun to rise in fairly equal proportion. While… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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