The recent announcement that the number of people out of work fell by 46,000 to 2.56 million in the three months to June, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), is much welcome news. Even if it is short lived due to the Olympic effect, the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance still fell by 5,900 to 1.59 million in July.
Job creation is key to our economic recovery and we need to do everything possible as business leaders to put pressure on the government to create the best possible environment for recruitment and growth. This includes reducing red tape, more flexible legislation and support for retraining. What is very interesting is the continuing trend upwards of the number of people working part-time because they could not find a full-time job. Now at an all-time record high, this figure was up 16,000 in the three months to June to 1.42 million. Does this signal for employers the need to develop new types of contracts and working relationships with employees? Those unable to find full time work are now looking to make ends meet by taking on two or more part time roles. This workforce will take a different style of management to say the least, as their loyalty and commitment could be split as they face many more priorities and distractions.
Trade union umbrella body the TUC has warned the job outlook for the young is its toughest since 1994. In a report ahead of the unemployment figures, it said the proportion of young people in full-time education had risen from 24% in 1992. Again, this demands a different strategy and approach both by employers, educators, and the Government. It is only by working together that we will see this depressing situation change. There is no single fix to the unemployment situation. It will take a multifaceted approach and policy makers need to recognise this and work with business leaders to ensure that what is developed is both deliverable and will result in real outcomes.