Saturday, June 20, 2009

Signs that recession is over

You're losing your job and the experts tell you that things are going alright.

'Green shoots' are everywhere. Experts appear sure that the recession is over. According to the Independent, "high-street bakers Greggs said like-for-like sales picked up by 2 per cent" and, if you were under the illusions mole holes were getting a tiny bit more affordable, Halifax announced that house prices have risen again.

But if those can be dismissed as mere signs, hard evidence of the economic recovery came from British Airways' announcement that either its 40,000 staff work for free or they can expect a redundancy notice through the letterbox.

That's nothing if you compare it with the green shoots coming from the most recent unemployment figures, pointing to a jobless total of over 2.2 million people, that is 7.2% of the workforce, the highest figure since 1996.

A sure sign of all-round optimism is also the number of 18-24 year-olds without a job: 16.6%, the highest since the Major years.

Recovery is obviously underway. The experts are probably thinking of insurance company AXA axing 560 workers and Hewlett Packard in Scotland laying off 700 people.

Or what better gauge that we're riding high again than the recent case at the Lindsay oil refinery where owners Total are firing 900 of their staff? Green shoots or what?

Then there's the thousands of jobs at the Luton and Ellesmere port Vauxhall plants that are hanging on a thread and the 1400 workers who are being given the boot by one of Britain's biggest banks. All is fine, remember. So listen to the experts, hit the high street and spend whatever money you've got left. Cheers.


Anita said...

Good stuff!
I was wondering how the multitudes on the dole may feel every time they open a newspaper and read that the recovery is now underway.
Absolute tripe! Here businesses keep going bust and you read celebrated 'economists' feeding you panglossian poo.
Why they do so is obvious to everybody. To line the pockets of shareholders.

Selma said...

Nice one, Stan. The economic situ will get worse methinks, not better.

Marc said...

Anita, while I cannot speak for everyone on Jobseekers benefits, I can tell you personally it feels like the media thinks I'm an idiot. And speaking with my friends, most of them graduates, almost all of them unemployed since last year, that impression seems to be spreading.

Good article Stan. The line about "green shoots" seems to be spreading through the press without any sort of critical thinking being applied to it. You might want to check out for a more international view as well - it seems to be very much the same story everywhere.