Author: julianhjessop

Are we becoming too dependent on the state?

I have to tip my hat to Civitas. The ‘Tufton Street’ think tank made quite a splash on Monday, including bagging the front page of the Daily Mail, with two striking claims. One was that over half of UK households now receive more in benefits from the government than they pay in tax. The other … Continue reading Are we becoming too dependent on the state?

How much should we worry about a house price crash?

One question that economists dread at parties is ‘what is going to happen to house prices?’. The sensible answer is ‘I don’t know and I can’t give you investment advice anyway’. But for what it is worth, here are my two hunches. The first is that UK house prices are likely to fall further and … Continue reading How much should we worry about a house price crash?

Why is the UK short of workers and what should be done about it?

In the good old days, economists could gauge the health of the UK labour market simply by glancing at the unemployment rate. The latest official figure is still just 3.7 per cent, which suggests all is well. Unemployment has not been this low since the early 1970s. Put another way, the vast majority of people … Continue reading Why is the UK short of workers and what should be done about it?

Prospects for UK manufacturing are brighter than Make UK suggests

The quarterly ‘Manufacturing Outlook’ survey from Make UK (formerly the Engineering Employers’ Federation) is one of the better examples of its kind. It has clearly been written up by some serious economists, which I obviously think is a ‘good thing’. Nonetheless, the headlines appear to paint an overly gloomy picture of the prospects for the … Continue reading Prospects for UK manufacturing are brighter than Make UK suggests