The financial crisis of 2008 led to the ‘credit crunch’ and triggered a global downturn that brought an end to 16 years of uninterrupted economic growth in the UK.

As part of the effort to move back into economic growth, the Coalition Government has sought to reduce government spending. This has translated into a reduction in the public sector workforce as well as a more difficult economic environment for much of the private sector too.

Another consequence of the economic downturn has been that wages have generally failed to keep pace with inflation and this has led to the so called cost of living crisis, meaning that many of those in work have less spending power now than before the economic crisis hit.

However, it now looks like the worst of the economic downturn is over and the UK is expected to be amongst the fastest growing modern economies in the next few years. This should mean that we see an improving labour market with more job openings and hopefully, in time, an increase in real wages too.

A global labour market

However, the labour market remains very competitive and employers will be looking to recruit those with the right mix of skills, qualifications and experience.

The economy and labour market is increasingly global in nature. Tyne and Wear is home to a number of foreign owned global businesses such as Nissan, as well as home grown local businesses such as Sage Software. These create job opportunities for local people. However, in an increasingly globalised labour market being mobile can often improve employment and promotion opportunities. Much of the economic and employment growth has so far been concentrated in London and the South East.

People from Tyne and Wear may wish to consider spending some time living and working in other parts of the UK or even in other countries in order to access the best employment opportunities for them. In addition, some others may choose to emigrate on a permanent basis. In the year to June 2013, 320,000 people emigrated from the UK - 141,000 of these were British citizens. Estimates do vary, but suggest that between 70-75% of British citizens moving abroad left to take up a job or look for work.

Original written material and template Copyright @ Focus LMI 2014. The information may be used by Connexions Hub Services in Tyne and Wear and its partners for the use of delivering careers education and guidance and aspects of the Work Related Curriculum in schools and colleges. However, the information may not be used by any party for commercial purposes and the original material or template cannot be amended or updated without the written permission of Focus LMI.