Youth Unemployment Major Fear for Business but Regions Offer Hope
Reacting to the news that unemployment has risen by 28,000 in the three months to January, Bernard Brown, Partner and Head of Business Services at KPMG, says:
“Rising unemployment is clearly disappointing, but the major concern must be around the increasing level of jobless youth. It’s no exaggeration to suggest that, unless this tide is stemmed, we face a tough future because the cost of supporting young people as they find work, coupled with a job market that fails to refresh itself, will have a long-term adverse effect on the economy.
“There is, at least, some hope of a revival, with job creation in some regions of the UK beginning to show signs of improvement. Recent announcements focusing on 1,000 new jobs the automotive sector in Merseyside, 20,000 in retailing and, of course, the ‘Olympic effect’ which will benefit London, in particular, suggest the official figures may show some improvement in the coming months.
“However, KPMG’s recent Report on Jobs suggested that cautious optimism must remain the watchwords because, even for those who have found new employment, we are seeing rates for wages reducing for the first time since 2009. Given the ongoing squeeze many are feeling as costs go up on the high street, it appears that the price of employment is lower take-home pay, but this is an inevitable consequence of a competitive, yet still fractious, market.”