Job vacancies and skills are often not matching up

Several developed economies are seeing increasing numbers of job vacancies but their unemployment rates are not going down. In some cases, they are even rising. What is happening is that many of the workers who lost their jobs to the economic crisis do not have the skills that the labour market now demands. “These skills mismatches mean that unemployed people … Continue reading

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The UK paradox on employment

In its latest Economic Outlook released this morning, the OECD aims to shed some light on the so-called ‘UK paradox’ of employment rates rising while economic growth remains weak. Today’s Outlook says of the UK : “Although employment grew strongly in 2012, unemployment is expected to rise slightly in 2013, as the subdued recovery and continued uncertainty may make firms … Continue reading

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Downside risks for the world economy are growing again

Well at least something is growing! But this gloomy prognosis comes not from me, although I agree with it, but from the Trade and Development Report 2012, which was published last week by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). The Report highlights the immediate problem of the developed countries as the ability to return to a normal … Continue reading

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No recovery in sight for Labour markets

This is the view of the global employment situation according to the International Labour Organisation (ILO), in its World of Work Report 2012: Better Jobs for a Better Economy”. The report says that there are still 50 million less jobs available than were there before the global crisis, and warned that an even more problematic job phase was emerging. The … Continue reading

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Government borrowing finishes year on target

Government borrowing in March, the final month of the financial year, came in at £18.2bn, according to the measure which ignores the temporary effects of financial interventions which include bank bail-outs. Many analysts thought the figure would have been lower, but it was offset by a revised figure for February borrowing which was slashed by £3bn. The Office for Budget … Continue reading

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Inflation to stay above target and unemployment to rise to 3 million

This is included in the latest forecast from the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr), which has been voted the best GDP forecaster for 2011. The Cebr forecasts that increases in oil and commodity prices – reflecting the impact of quantitative easing in the US and Eurozone – mean that their inflation forecast has had to be raised sharply … Continue reading

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The problem of underemployment

We had the latest unemployment figures released this week which made good reading – at least on the surface. The number of unemployed people fell by 35,000 over the quarter to February 2012 to reach 2.65 million. This meant that the unemployment rate fell to 8.3% from 8.4% on the quarter according to the Labour Force Survey findings. But, there … Continue reading

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It’s only business investment which can save the economy

This is the substance of an economic forecast just released by the Ernst & Young ITEM Club. Whilst acknowledging that the UK may have been saved from a double dip recession by a ‘loose’ monetary policy, the ITEM Club believes that UK GDP growth will be a dismal 0.4% this year, before rising to 1.5% in 2013 and 2.6% in … Continue reading

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Unemployment rises but could be flattening out

The headline figure shows that UK unemployment rose by 28,000 to 2.67 million in the three months to January, according to figures released today by the Office for National Statistics. This meant that the unemployment rate rose to 8.4% from 8.3% on the quarter, and this is the highest it has been since 1995. On the other hand there were … Continue reading

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Most major economies still in slowdown mode

The OECD has just published its latest growth forecasts, and the outlook is not great. Composite leading indicators (CLIs), designed to anticipate turning points in economic activity relative to trend, continue pointing to a slowdown in activity in most OECD countries and major non-member economies. The assessment is little changed compared to last month for most countries. The CLI for … Continue reading

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