If only it were really that simple! I am a glass half full kind of guy, one who believes that the good will eventually rise to the top. However I am concerned that there is the very real risk of a “jobless” recovery, or at least another 12 months before we will see any semblance of growth in the jobs market. Despite marginally improving economic conditions, in my experience employers are incredibly cautious about making external hiring decisions, preferring to look at the internal resource first. I suspect that as conditions improve we will see the inevitable rise in temporary and interim opportunities are employers remain reluctant to commit to permanent hires.
I am also concerned that whilst corporates show some signs of a return to stability, SME’s, the lifeblood of the economy, are still finding credit conditions such that it is virtually impossible to secure funding for growth. We also have the looming spectre of HMRC calling in the billions of pounds outstanding in PAYE and VAT under time to pay arrangements. This has proved a lifeline for many, plugging the funding gap that banks traditionally would have funded. However for some businesses this scheme has delayed the inevitable and I am concerned we will have a swathe of insolvency in the first quarter of next year as HMRC turns up the heat to improve cash in the public purse.
We also have a government, regardless of political persuasion, that must make cuts in the overbloated public sector whilst minimising the impact on front line services. This I am afraid will clearly impact on jobs. In order that we have a robust recovery, we must invest in education and innovation and reduce business taxation and the regulatory burden on businesses.
Research proves that cutting business taxes to encourage entrepreneurship and investment creates wealth through creating jobs. This of course increases the amount of tax going back in to the public purse and as a result investment in public services. All of which are critical to ensure we drive down unemployment, get great people back in the workplace and give the economy a robust platform for future growth. This needs to happen fast. On reflection, it really does seem that simple!