Magazine article Marketing

Brave New World for the Skilled

Magazine article Marketing

Brave New World for the Skilled

Article excerpt

Much attention is being paid to the rising level of unemployment and its adverse social and economic consequences. Rightly so. The cost of unemployment is seen in the direct effect on individuals and on government finances. Its indirect effects come through in the shape of depressed demand in the economy.

For policy makers, marketers and employees, the worry is that even if the economy has now turned the corner, past experience suggests that unemployment levels will continue to rise. Drawing comparisons with the 80s would point to a peak in official unemployment in 1997 of anything up to 3.7 million people. More detailed analysis of the conventional economic indicators shows that the outlook is unlikely to be quite so severe. Yet such analysis still points to a rising trend in unemployment over the next four years -- long after the immediate effects of recession have past.

There are, however, at least some grounds for believing that the conventional interpretation of medium term unemployment prospects is deficient. In particular in the extent to which it misunderstands the motivation for some of the large scale redundancy programmes. Certainly as the recession took hold, companies reacted in a predictable manner. Concerned by falling demand they concentrated on restricting costs. Excess labour paid the price. However, as the recession continued it is arguable that a different process became influential and this is one which can in part be held responsible for the roller-coaster pattern on monthly unemployment. …

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