Job–lite recovery means Britain needs new industries

Despite yesterday’s "bleak employment outlook" the major political parties and British media continue to promote solutions which will do little to alleviate long term unemployment. The Government should prioritise long-term employment through investing in new industries combating environmental problems and increasing community development.

Despite yesterday’s “bleak employment outlookthe major political parties and British media continue to promote solutions which will do little to alleviate long term unemployment. Even with this most recent rise in joblessness – one spanning demographics of sex, age, and ethnicity – both parties champion “spending cuts” while the media focuses on deficit reduction and the need to “end the welfare trap.” For example, Hamish McRae in the Independent writes, “the government, whatever government, will have both to raise taxes and cut spending. Those of us who banged on about the unsustainable nature of public finances will see ourselves vindicated … for the moment all is calm; the Government is still ‘investing’; the thunderclouds have yet to break.”

Ignored is how these policies will prevent what is being called a “job–lite recovery.” Limited measures, such as the Government’s forthcoming “Back to Work” white paper promising job training for the young and increased benefits for the elderly and disabled, are at best only stop gap solutions failing to address what the OECD refers to as the “structural” problems of the economy. How will job training for instance help if vacancies continue to fall, as the ONS report shows?

The media and policy makers must acknowledge the limitations of the bank bailout and stimulus with its outdated embrace of an outdated free-market ideology favouring banks and the financial sector over workers, a preference shown in the £500 billion given to banks versus only £3 billion for “capital projects.” Instead of reducing VAT, bailing out banks, or introducing “welfare reform” aiming to force claimants to look for non-existent and non-livable jobs, the Government should prioritise long-term employment through investing in new industries combating environmental problems and increasing community development. In the long term it remains to be seen what type of economy will emerge from this crisis – one which is sustainable and advantages all or one that continues to rely on the boom and bust of unregulated growth.

Our guest writer is Peter Bloom, Swansea University

5 Responses to “Job–lite recovery means Britain needs new industries”

  1. matthew bond

    I suppose. Unemployment is still low in Britain especially relative to Conservative era. But important ideological shift. The Labour Government’s handling of this crisis shows that there was an alternative. The consensus surrounding that Howe’s 81 budget was necessary is no longer tenable. I think the ideas you advocate are no longer just relevant to moments of crisis. I think we should take a more rational and daring approach to state led industrial strategies.

  2. matthew bond

    @leftfootfwd Great blog http://bit.ly/THLs6. But remember unemployment much lower than during Tory rule.

  3. Shamik Das

    RT @leftfootfwd: Job–lite recovery means Britain needs new industries http://bit.ly/THLs6

  4. Luke

    As a recent graduate who is struggling to find employment and is being caught out on the Catch 22 of ‘not enough experience to get a job, can’t get experience without having a job’ I would rather see stronger measures to ensure that businesses and the third sector (where I have mostly been applying), take graduate candidates far more seriously and open up new jobs for graduates a variety of fields. I know there have been attempts to create more internship opportunities for graduates but I’ve been doing internships since I started uni and have, what I believe to be, an impressive CV.

    It seems to me that if Executives and Directors wish to hang on to their bonuses, then it must come with conditions that a proportion of annual profits will go back into creating either new jobs for graduates or paid internship opportunities. We can not have a culture of profits and bonuses whilst graduates are effectively working as slave-labour on the free and cheap. If progressives want a greater redistribution of wealth, coupled with allowing new growth without scaring off the City, then rather than tax bonuses, the Government must ensure that a % of profits and bonuses are re-invested into creating new jobs.

    I would much prefer the alternative however, that of ending bonus culture and taxing all profits, but that is not a policy for the current climate with the debate being led by the Right.

  5. The Earl

    Luke- wants to tax all profits. Yes, why don’t we drive away business?
    Matthew- wants more state led industrial strategies. Of course! We all know that nationalisation worked brilliantly.
    Mr. Bloom- is in denial about the need for cuts. Not even going to bother going there.
    You people crack me up.

Leave a Reply