Where will the jobs come from? That was the big question discussed with some friends last night. Unfortunately we didn't come up with any easy answers!
Starts-ups and entrepreneurs got a mention - especially in the IT/software sector. I was more sanguine - it'll take a lot of start-ups to make a big dent in our current unemployment levels. What's more, new research in the UK shows that entrepreneurs are more risk averse - not less - than the total population. Go figure.
John Mauldin makes the case for manufacturing in his latest newsletter - it's the only sector capable of absorbing the unskilled and the semi-skilled in large numbers. But I don't think it's about betting on the right sectors. An increase in consumer spending - and the resultant boost to demand for shops, restaurants and hotels - will do more to create jobs than delusional aspirations to become the next Silicon Valley. But that's a matter of economy policy, not employment policy.
The default solution in these conversations is: education. We need a better educated workforce. Which usually translates into more degrees. I'm not so sure. It's not working so well in the United States right now - take it away Peter: