Value of UK workforce skills falls

The Office for National Statistics claims the value of skills and knowledge from UK workers has slumped - now worth £130bn less than last year. This so-called "human capital" is calculated by measured by income growth, investment in education and educational achievement. Not good news given the UK's aspirations for increased emphasis on manufacturing, raising productivity worries again.

Out of balance

Practically, it means that UK workers have had to endure lower salaries in order to keep competitive while the cost of basics continue to rise. Even if a better UK manufacturing balance is recovered in future, it will take several years for this balance to be reflected in official ONS 'skills and knowledge' figures. Training and investment is costly and time-consuming.

How do you define "human capital"? Admittedly, the ONS has a fairly tight definition, not taking into account quality of aspects such work-life balance.


On the other hand, the UK's human capital steadily grew since 2001; the UK has also been hard-hit by the global recession; "human capital" has to take a knock in such circumstances. The ONS numbers also claim that women's human capital at £6.64 trillion was 63% of men at £10.48 trillion, due to reduced earning power and more part-time working roles.

Meanwhile the ONS has commenced work on David Cameron's 'national happiness' survey. Its surveying 200,000 people to rate their satisfaction, happiness and anxiety levels. Results out July!
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