The last seven years have not been good for the economy. When unemployment reached a high of more than 8.5% percent, there were times when it was hard to see how Britain was ever going to get back to work.
Despite that however, we have been gradually bouncing back. It’s been slow – Britain has had the slowest recovery from any recession since records began – so you’d be forgiven for not being quite sure whether as a nation, we’re back where we once were.
There is good news: the unemployment level is at a low level of 5.4 per cent. This is pretty close to the state of things immediately before the recession started in the summer of 2008.
While this number speaks for itself to an extent, it’s important to take a close look at exactly how this breaks down statistically. When we see that unemployment is at 5.4%, we might take that to mean that 94.6% percent of people are in well-paying, secure and full-time work. Of course it’s not quite like that, as someone will be counted as ‘not unemployed’ even if they are on an internship, unpaid workfare scheme, zero hours contract or any other work arrangement that might not even pay minimum wage.
While plenty of people are in great jobs who were not five years ago, it’s important to recognise that quantity of work is not always the same as quality of work.
But while there are many people in this country who deserve to be in better jobs, we are certainly not in the desperate situation that we were a few years ago.
And while nobody wants to be an apprentice for the rest of their career, the existence of even low-paying work as an alternative to no work at all is serving to tide people over and provide a stepping stone to doing something they truly love.
In line with this, the government is introducing 3 million more apprenticeship schemes over the next five years in order to help those struggling to get a foot on the ladder and ensure that they are more ready for permanent work when the time comes to move on.
As a recruitment company, naturally we’re concerned with the state of employment across the UK and we like to think we’ve played a small part in Britain getting back on track.
What’s your experience of Britain’s climb out of recession? Are you feeling the recovery? Let us know in the comments.