On page 7 we provided you with a figure and asked you which series was being shown. Perhaps you managed to identify this as unemployment? If so, well done!
The pattern shown in the figure reflects the main economic events of the past 40 years. In the 1970s unemployment was quite steady, between 4% and 6%, albeit with a slight rise in 1974/75 at a time when oil prices were spiralling upwards. In the 1980s, Margaret Thatcher acted to control inflation through restrictive policies, and unemployment reached almost 12% in 1984 before gradually falling. Unemployment rose again in the early 1990s before steadying at about 5% in the early 2000s. The financial crisis of the late 2000s saw a rise in the unemployment rate to around 8%, but by 2019 it had fallen to just under 4%.
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