Recent research by the National Institute for Economic and Social Research predicts:
“The economy will contract by 0.5 per cent this year, but grow by 1.3 per cent in 2013.” However, there is “divergence between poor growth figures and relatively strong labour market performance [this they admit] remains a puzzle, although other countries, for example Germany, have also experienced very weak productivity growth.”
What this indicates is that
1) Stagnation continues – we do indeed appear to be under no growth or probably ‘post-growth’ conditions.
2) Despite this, although there has been a rise in unemployment, it has been lower than the orthodox (pro-growth) assumptions would predict. This appears to be further evidence that a no-growth or negative growth scenario need not lead to high unemployment, something already modelled for an intentional (rather than accidental) steady state economy by Peter Victor* in Canada.
This helps bring into question the city’s assumption that strong economic growth is the only way to ensure employment for Mancunians.
* Victor, P. A. (2008). Managing without growth slower by design, not disaster. Cheltenham; Northampton, Mass.: E. Elgar.
Victor, P. A. (2011). Growth, degrowth and climate change: A scenario analysis. Ecological Economics. doi:10.1016/j.ecolecon.2011.04.013