Economic growth


What’s the challenge?

Will the recent financial crisis and the downturn in the global economy change the shape of capitalism as we know it today and how has the UK been impacted?

Youth unemployment

Definition: “The youth unemployment rate is the proportion of economically active young people (aged 16 to 24) that are out of work.”

Reasons for youth unemployment in the UK include:

1) Lack of qualifications
2) Geographical unemployment: Youth unemployment is concentrated in certain areas, particularly where there is a cycle of low achievement.
3) Cultural & Social Factors: Youth unemployment is often highest amongst deprived areas.


Neet stands for Not in Education, Employment or Training

    • 28% of unemployed 16-24 year olds had been unemployed for over 12 months in January to March 2014.
    • From January to March 2014 975,000 young people in the UK were NEET
    • 27% The UK’s highest youth unemployment rate is in the North East region, with over 1 in 4 economically active young people
    • 17% The South West region has the UK’s lowest youth unemployment rate, with less than 1 in 5 economically active young people unemployed.
    • Cities with high youth unemployment rates (above 25%) in 2012-2013:

Sources: ONS, 2014, The Work Foundation

Panel discussion

The Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) held a panel discussion on 17 March 2009 to dsicuss the issue.

Vince Cable MP, Deputy Leader and Shadow Chancellor of the Liberal Democrats.

Vincent Cable was first elected to Parliament to represent Twickenham in 1997. He has had a varied career which includes time at the Foreign Office, Chatham House and as Shell’s Chief Economist. He has published several books and reports on international economics, trade and environmental issues. Vince Cable has been a leading figure in the debates surrounding the current global financial crisis.



John Micklethwait, Editor-in-Chief, The Economist
After studying history at Magdalen College, Oxford, he worked as a banker at Chase Manhattan between 1985 and 1987 before joining The Economist as a finance correspondent in 1987. In 1990 he was voted the Young Financial Journalist of the Year, awarded by the Harold Wincott Foundation.

Since then his roles at The Economist have included setting up the bureau in Los Angeles, where he worked from 1990–1993; being the newspaper’s media correspondent; editing the business section; running the New York bureau; and, most recently, editing the United States section. He has written surveys for the paper on California, business in Asia, Argentina, Silicon Valley, the United States, and the entertainment industry. He is a frequent broadcaster and has appeared on CNN, ABC News, BBC, Start the Week and NPR. Mr Micklethwait has co-authored with Adrian Wooldridge, also an Economist journalist, four books: “The Witch Doctors”; “A Future Perfect: the Challenge and Hidden Promise of Globalisation”; “The Company: A Short History of a Revolutionary Idea”; and “The Right Nation”, a study of conservatism in America”.



Evan Davis, BBC Broadcaster

After making his name on Newsnight, Evan then reached a wider audience as BBC Economics Editor, with regular reports across all TV news bulletins. His other credits include Big Ideas, in which he explored significant trends confronting policy makers in the twenty-first century.

Prior to joining the BBC, Evan was an economist at The Institute of Fiscal Studies. He also worked for the Centre for Business Strategy at the London Business School, after completing his Harkness Fellowship at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.

Evan Davis is a three-time winner of the Work Foundation’s Broadcast Journalist of the Year award. He sits on the Advisory Council of the Social Market Foundation, and co-edited the Penguin dictionaries of both business and economics.




Professor Tim Jackson, Centre for Environmental Strategy, University of Surrey

Professor of Sustainable Development in the Centre for Environmental Strategy (CES) at the University of Surrey. His current research interests include consumer behaviour, sustainable energy systems, ecological economics and environmental philosophy.

In the last twelve years he has pioneered the development of an ‘adjusted’ measure of economic growth – a ‘green GDP’ – for the UK. Since January 2003, Tim has been employed at CES under a research fellowship on the ‘social psychology’ of consumer behaviour.

“A system that grows forever, eventually outgrows its own environment and we have evidence that is exactly what we are doing” Professor Tim Jackson



Further reading

Microfinance, Victorine Olwanda for ‘Ask the experts’,

Pound stores – an icon of austerity capitalism? Geographical Magazine, February 2015

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