The new normal? Changes in the structure of employment in Northern Ireland

The economic recovery that followed the 2008 financial crisis has now been in train for 10 years. Many headline economic indicators appear to suggest that such a recovery may be complete. However, on closer inspection, it does appear that structural changes over the course of that recovery have altered the nature of employment in Northern Ireland.

It is mistaken to see an economic recovery as an automatic rebound. The nature of any recovery in the labour market is linked to the policy context in which it took place. The decision of the UK government to pursue a programme of fiscal contraction changed the nature of the recovery and consequently the quality of it. Policy aimed at improving pay and conditions are key to delivering a more effective labour market recovery.

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