I guess good news doesn’t sell newspapers. This weekend was full of the latest views on double dip, inflation, stagflation, rising interest rates, dropping consumer confidence, rising unemployment and a jobless recovery. None of these are fact. For sure all are simply possible scenarios and all warranted countless column inches. Someone once warned me ” be careful what you wish for”.
Much is being made of the jobless recovery. Regular readers of my blog will know my views when it comes to unemployment (frankly one person out of work who does not wish to be is one person too many). However, trying to take the positive from the negative I considered what is to be gained from the doomsday scenario the newspapers are suggesting.
Firstly a jobless recovery is not an accurate description. It is simply not the case that employers are not hiring. What is true is where they are hiring. A recent Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development survey highlighted 36% of employers expect to lose staff in the next three months. Despite this threat of cuts, the CIPD’s net employment index, which measures the number of companies planning to hire against the number planning to lose staff, is still in positive territory at +two (admittedly down from +five three months ago but still a positive number).
Dig a little deeper in the numbers and that’s where things get interesting. What you will see reflects the stark difference between the public and private sectors, with the private sector showing strong hiring intentions at +19 while the public sector gives a reading of -35.
This is great news. The private sector is hiring. We have grown to depend for too long on an overbloated public sector and we need now to take the medicine to protect ourselves in the long-term. I am not talking front-line services (I am married to a nurse and clearly too much of a coward to consider such a thing!). Anything that puts more nurses on hospital wards, policeman on the street or makes for better public transport is to be supported and applauded but it is the private sector that drives long-term, sustainable economic recovery.
It is the private sector that creates employment and wealth, that pays down the massive public debt we have accrued in the western world. It is the private sector that puts huge sums in to the public purse through taxation to create world-class public services. It is the private sector that drives innovation, that will create the tools that are required to combat climate change, hunger, water shortage, disease. This gets forgotten all too often. It is the private sector that got us in to this mess and it will be the private sector that gets us out.
It will be the private sector that re – trains out of work former public sector workers and it will be the private sector that re – hires them. Will this happen quickly enough to ease the pain for such individuals? Probably not. Rarely does any return to work happen quickly enough for the person concerned. Governments need to create the environment that encourages entrepreneurialism to thrive. For it is entrepreneurialism, the seeing and seizing of opportunity that will create long-term sustainable employment.
Human Beings are incredible. In adversity comes incredible strength, determination, invention, creativity. Through adversity comes great change. We might just be living in one of the most exciting times in history. Sure its tough, but let’s make the most of it instead of constantly finding ways to talk ourselves in to an even bigger mess.