2020 OECD Economic Surveys: United Kingdom 2020

image of OECD Economic Surveys: United Kingdom 2020

Like many countries, the United Kingdom has been hit severely by the COVID-19 outbreak. A strict lockdown was essential to contain the pandemic but halted activity in many key sectors. While restrictions have eased, the country now faces a prolonged period of disruption to activity and jobs, which risks exacerbating pre-existing weak productivity growth, inequalities, child poverty and regional disparities. On-going measures to prevent a second wave of infections will need to be carefully calibrated to manage the economic impact. The country started from a position of relatively high well-being on many dimensions. But productivity and investment growth have been weak in recent years and an ambitious agenda of reforms will be key to a sustainable recovery. Leaving the EU Single Market, in which the economy is deeply integrated, creates new economic challenges. Decisions made now about management of the COVID-19 crisis and future trade relationships will have a lasting impact on the country’s economic trajectory for the years to come.


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Low-skilled workers receive less firm-based training

Gap between training rates of low-skilled training workers¹, 2012 or 2015²


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