Exploring the Impact of Rising Economic Inactivity in the UK Post-Pandemic

An increase in the number of ‘economically inactive’ individuals in the UK is raising concerns from both economic and fiscal perspectives. The BBC News video explores the reasons behind the rise in economic inactivity, including long-term sickness, and its implications for the economy. It highlights the government’s plans to address this issue through a ‘back-to-work’ initiative, while also noting the UK’s economic inactivity rates are below the OECD average, despite not returning to pre-pandemic workforce levels.

  • One in five working-age people in the UK are not part of the workforce, a number that has increased post-pandemic.
  • Those who are economically inactive are not working, not paying taxes, and are more likely to receive benefits.
  • The economically inactive population includes students, caregivers, retirees, and 2.7 million people not working due to long-term sickness.
  • Long-term sickness, now the largest and fastest-growing reason for economic inactivity, is increasingly affecting young people.
  • Mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety, and bad nerves, are the most prevalent conditions among the economically inactive due to long-term sickness.
  • The UK government is determined to tackle economic inactivity by filling job vacancies and providing support to help people return to work.
  • While some sectors use immigration to fill gaps, the government’s plan focuses on helping UK adults off benefits and into employment.
  • Economic inactivity in the UK is below the OECD average, the level in the G7, and across the European Union, but the workforce size has not rebounded to pre-pandemic levels.
  • Understanding the rise in long-term sickness and its effect on workforce participation is an ongoing challenge.

The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster headquartered at Broadcasting House in London. Originally established in 1922 as the British Broadcasting Company, it evolved into its current state with its current name on New Year’s Day 1927.

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Original video here.

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