Childcare affordability in London

Tackling childcare affordability in London: Health and Public Services Committee – London Assembly

  • Childcare costs in the capital are up to a third higher than elsewhere in the UK – an average of £119 a week for a child under two years old.
  • On average, London families spend a larger proportion of their income on childcare and travel than people in the rest of the country.
  • London parents also face more challenges than parents in other regions because of longer working hours, lengthy commutes and being less likely to have family close by to help look after children.

Characteristics of young unemployed people

Characteristics of young unemployed people – 2012

  • Unemployment for young people in the UK aged 16 to 24 in October to December 2011 stood at 1.04 million, the highest number since 1986/87.
  • Because the number of students has been rising, just looking at young people not in fulltime education, the unemployment proportion was 17.2 per cent in the final quarter of 2011, the highest since records began.
  • Youth unemployment has risen in each of the last three recessions and the immediate years following their end. The current total of 1.04 million compares with peaks of 924,000 in 1993 and 1.2 million in 1984.
  • July 2010 to June 2011, the highest unemployment rate for young people aged 16 to 24 was in London at 23.7 per cent.  The North East at 14.6 per cent has the highest proportion.
  • Across the European Union, Spain tops the list of the 27 member states for unemployment. In the third quarter of 2011 their unemployment rate stood at 47.1 per cent, looking at the youth labour force aged 15 to 24.
  • The lowest rate across the Union was in Austria at just 7.3 per cent. The UK rate of 21.8 per cent was close to the EU average of 21.5 per cent.
  • In January 2012 around 484,000 18-24 year olds were claiming jobseekers allowance. Of these, around 6 in every 10 were looking for a job in sales or elementary occupations

Small firms resilient but economy stalling some

Small firms have been resilient: new survey figures from the Federation of Small Businesses

  • Seven in 10 small businesses have introduced new or improved products and services over the past two years
  • The economy is preventing six in 10 from achieving growth this year
  • Three quarters (74%) of respondents want to increase their client base, 57 per cent said they expect to increase their online presence and a quarter (26%) want to increase their staff base.
  • Two thirds said that economy is the biggest barrier
  • 16 per cent say broadband is a barrier
  • More than a third (36%) say employment taxes are a barrier
  • 13 per cent say recruiting and training is a barrier.

Impact of the recession on household spending

Impact of the recession on household spending

I find this stuff quite interesting but I’m not sure what to make of it all yet.

  • In the fourth quarter of 2008 the total amount spent by households (in current prices) fell 2.0 per cent.
  • This was the first fall in the value of household spending since 1968.
  • Spending then fell for a further two quarters – the first time this had occurred since records began.


Footfall: up and down

British Retail Consortium: footfall and vacancies monitor

  • Footfall in the three months November to January was 1.8% up on a year ago, better than the 2.3% fall in the previous three months.
  • Footfall improved in all types of locations, particularly out-of-town with a 3.1% increase, compared with high streets up 1.4% and shopping centres up 0.8%.
  • Averaging over the last 12 months shows high streets have fared worst, with a 4.8% decline.
  • The hardest-hit locations in the past three months were Scotland (-8.5%) and the South West (-7.5%). Scotland was also one of the worst in the previous three months.
  • Wales (11.4%), Northern Ireland (7.2%) and the South East (7.1%) held up the best.

Retail Sales – January 2012

Retail Sales – January 2012

  • The value of retail sales in January 2012 showed an increase of 4.4 per cent compared with January 2011.
  • Sales volumes in January 2012 increased 2.0 per cent when compared with January 2011.
  • Sales volumes were driven primarily by non-store retailing, other stores and predominantly food stores.
  • The year on year implied price deflator slowed to show inflation of 2.2 per cent, the lowest since 1.0 per cent in November 2009.

Euro area and EU27 GDP

Euro area and EU27 GDP: fourth quarter of 2011

  • GDP fell by 0.3% in both the euro area (EA17) and the EU27 during the fourth quarter of 2011, compared with the previous quarter.
  • In the third quarter of 2011, growth rates were +0.1% and +0.3% respectively.
  • Compared with the same quarter of the previous year, seasonally adjusted GDP increased by 0.7% in the euro area and by 0.9% in the EU27 in the fourth quarter of 2011, after +1.3% and +1.4% respectively in the previous quarter.