Sunshine, daffodils and unemployment

It’s a glorious day – so try to keep sunshine and daffodils in mind when you read our next words: unemployment. Up. Loads.

We all knew it was coming, but it still pains us to say it: unemployment has passed the two million mark for the first time since 1997.

According to statistics released this morning by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), unemployment has now hit 2.03 million – and that’s only counting those who are receiving jobseekers’ allowance. The Trades Union Congress (TUC) says this means there are now 10 jobseekers for every vacancy.

While some businesses have reacted to the recession by imposing a shorter week or asking their employees to work from home as a way to cut costs, the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) responded to the news with a unique suggestion: wage subsidies.

We can only assume the wage subsidies will come out of the same magic fund currently bailing out everything from financial services to car manufacturers – but we’re finding it difficult to grasp how this suggestion could possibly work.

Redundancy is a devastating, crushing experience, but relying on the government to pay for unsustainable jobs is unrealistic – not to mention demoralising for workers who are stuck in a job with nothing to do.

Of course, it’s our duty to take this opportunity to remind those who have been hit by redundancy that now is a great opportunity to start a business.

Image courtesy of Flickr

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