World of Work Report 2011

World of Work Report 2011

In his editorial at the start of the report, Raymond Torres (Director, International Institute for Labour Studies) argues that:

The economic slowdown may entail a double-dip in employment exacerbating inequalities and social discontent and further delaying economic recovery.
This vicious circle can be broken by making markets work for jobs – not the other way around. This requires, first, ensuring a closer connection between wages and productivity, starting with surplus countries second, supporting real investment notably through financial reform, third, maintaining and in some cases strengthening pro-employment programmes funded from a broader tax base and putting jobs back on top of the global agenda.

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The effect of VAT on household disposable income, 2011

The effect of VAT on household disposable income, 2011

  • The poorest fifth of households in the UK spent a higher proportion of their expenditure on goods and services that attracted Value Added Tax (VAT) in 2009/10 than in 1986.
  • Poorer households in 1986 spent a smaller proportion of their expenditure, than poorer households in 2009/10, on discretionary items which attracted VAT.
  • The poorest fifth of households in the UK pay more in VAT as a percentage of their disposable income than the richest fifth.

Access to Finance 2007 and 2010

  • 35 per cent of small and medium-sized businesses sought finance in 2007. This rose to 42 per cent in 2010.
  • For those seeking loan finance, around three-quarters of businesses approached banks.
  • In 2007, successful loan finance approaches to banks were around 90 per cent. This fell to 65 per cent in 2010.
  • Five out of every six businesses that expect to need future finance anticipate seeking it from banks.

ONS Access to Finance

I wanna go to cohort

Following up on my “I wanna go to Chelsea” post below.

It seems that:

  • By 2035 period life expectancy at birth is projected to reach 83.4 years for males and 87.0 years for females, an increase of nearly 5 years each since 2010.
  • By 2035 cohort life expectancy at birth is projected to reach 94.2 years for males and 97.2 years for females, just over 10 years longer than period life expectancy.

Period and Cohort life expectancy tables

Guide to period and cohort life expectancy

SME Business Barometer

The SME Business Barometer: August 2011  has been released  this month (Oct 2011).

These are some of the key points from the Summary:

  • The state of the economy was felt to be main obstacle to success by 45 per cent of SME employers in August 2011.
  • Obtaining finance was the second most frequently mentioned main obstacle (in a five percentage point raise since February 2011, it was mentioned by 12 per cent of SME employers). The next most frequently mentioned obstacles were taxation, cashflow, competition and regulations.
  • In levels similar to February 2011 and December 2010, 26 per cent of SME employers in August 2011 were employing fewer staff than 12 months previously. Sixty per cent had the same number of staff as 12 months previously (compared with 58 per cent stating this in February 2011); and 14 per cent had more staff than 12 months previously (compared with 15 per cent stating this in February 2011). The trend over the previous year indicates a greater degree of stability in employment levels.
  • Expectations of staffing levels over the next 12 months have remained relatively static since September 2009. In August 2011, 25 per cent of SME employers believed that in a year’s time they would be employing more staff than currently. This compares with 61 per cent who believed employment levels would remain stable, and 14 per cent who believed there would be a decrease in employment levels.
  • In August 2011 30 per cent of SME employers saw an increase in turnover in the previous 12 months, compared to 34 per cent stating their turnover had decreased. For 36 per cent turnover was about the same as it was 12 months previously. This last figure represents the greatest proportion of employers stating their turnover levels are the same as 12 months ago since ASBS 07/08., and overall the trends suggest stabilisation of turnover levels.
  • Looking ahead, SME employers that participated in the August 2011 Barometer were more likely than in the February 2011 Barometer to have felt that their turnover in 12 month’s time would be the same (46 per cent, compared to 37 per cent in February 2011). Thirty-one per cent felt their turnover would be higher in 12 months time than currently and 21 per cent felt it would be lower.


Consumer confidence falls

Hard on the heels of a report that says small business confidence is crumbling (see my previous posting earlier this week) it looks like consumers feel the same way.

The Nationwide Building Society consumer confidence index results for September:

  • Confidence fell for fourth month in a row in September
  • The main index now stands just four points above its all time low seen in February 2011
  • The Spending Index fell by two points but remains some way above its all time lows, despite the challenging economic environment

Nationwide Consumer Confidence Index