Providing support through the stages of the business cycle
A UNISON case study

Page 1: Introduction

Everybody faces a degree of uncertainty within his or her daily lives. No matter how well people plan, it is impossible to get rid of all of the risks. Some of these risks could be financial. Although individuals may be good at organising their finances or dealing with shock events, some may need help and advice in times of need. Unexpected situations can be difficult to deal with when they arise...
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Page 2: The business cycle

A business cycle is something that occurs over time in all economies across the world. A sequence of events, both positive and negative economic activity, takes place during the cycle. These stages of the cycle keep repeating over time and over a number of years. The business cycle consists of the following periods; boom, downturn, recession and recovery. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is the...
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Page 3: Boom

A boom period is one where economic growth takes place. During this period consumer spending, business investment and GDP increase at a growing pace. The economy grows and develops a higher capacity, employment increases and businesses often have to pay higher wages to attract skilled employees to meet the increasing demand for their goods and services. There is, however, a danger of overheating...
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Page 4: Downturn and recession

During a boom it may be difficult for organisations to supply the growing demand for goods and services. This particularly applies to the capital goods industries where increasing demands for equipment result in delays in meeting customer needs. Then as the rate of growth slows down, economic activity slows down, leading to a downturn. Where there are two successive three-month periods of negative...
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Page 5: Recovery

A recovery follows a recession. A number of factors may drive recovery, including government intervention in the economy by reducing taxes or increasing spending. It is a time when the economy becomes stronger and consumer and business confidence increases. This creates an upturn in the business cycle. It means the production of more goods and services as consumers start to spend more...
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Page 6: Conclusion

Recently the performance of the UK economy has created many challenges for UNISON members. Setting up the charity There for You enabled UNISON to undertake its wider responsibilities to its members in difficult times. In doing so, it has provided significant levels of support for members who have struggled with increasing costs of living and the impact of government cuts to benefits and public...
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