David Brownsey-Joyce asks if w should we be worried about the kinds of jobs that are being created across the UK in 2012 and those that are being lost?
The coalition government keeps saying that we are in the age of austerity and that whilst they reduce the size of the state through cuts to the public sector the private sector will be there to pick up the slack and provide jobs for all those that are made redundant from the public sector as part of the belt tightening, but are the jobs being created and should we be concerned about the types of jobs that are being created?
Announcements such as Asda’s plans to create up to 5,000 jobs by opening or refurbishing 25 stories and 3 depots across the UK would be a welcome boost for the coalition government. But are announcements like Asda’s enough to comfort us as the latest statistics were released by the Office for National Statistics in January 2012 revealed there were 2.68 million unemployed people, up 118,000 on the quarter, with the highest unemployment rate since 1995; as well as the following announcements in January 2012 alone.
Royal Bank of Scotland plans to cut a further 3,500 jobs on top of the 2,000 already announced.
600 jobs to go at the Little Chief chain as it closes over a third of its branches, La Senza will close over half of its branches, Bonmarché has been sold in pre-pack administration with 1,400 job losses as part of the Peacocks Group collapse as 249 headquarter staff are made redundant.
The Ministry of Defence has announced 4,200 job cuts in a second round of redundancies as part of the Strategic Defence and Security Review which will ultimately see 5,000 losses across the RAF and Royal Navy, 7,000 in the Army and 25,000 within the Ministry of Defence’s civilian staff.
This doesn’t include those going in local government, the health service, education, police, fire brigade and third sector who are being hit so badly that we simply don’t run the stories anymore as we have been hearing about it for so long.
So we are losing jobs in finance, public sector, defence and the private sector. It’s not looking too good.
It’s tough out there with companies cutting across the board as they compete in a tough market with credit being restricted and everyone scared that their job could be next. Everyone is building up a war chest and preparing for the effects of the government’s cuts to hit, because they really haven’t yet, it will get a lot worse; but when the dust settles we need to be asking ourselves whether a retail and service based industry is what we want to dominate the jobs market in the UK in the future?
Should we not be looking at tax breaks for the manufacturing industry to return to the UK on mass, looking at ways they can cut their liabilities as they have to pay higher wages here compared to competing countries?
At the same time we could be looking at redistributing our employment bases across the UK, the Centre for Cities’ latest report ‘Cities Outlook 2012′ shows a widening economic gap between cities.
Either way we need to come up with some solutions or are we simply destined for a gloomy outcome with more and more cuts across the board with small victories such as Asda’s announcement as specific industries thrive on our race to tighten our own belts.