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Pmi Down But Employment Up, Mixed Signals

Discussion in 'Business News' started by MarkB, Jan 26, 2018.

  1. MarkB

    MarkB Administrator Staff Member

    Private sector output in Scotland was down last month for first time in more than a year but recruitment in the private sector is up again:-

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-business-42662608

    When you consider many of these economic figures are restated months down the line, is it dangerous to make any decisions based on these? Are business people not just better off going with their gut feeling when it comes to investment and recruitment?
     
  2. Businessman

    Businessman Member

    We need to be more concerned with quality, not quantity... And heap salt on the BS statistic 'by rote' managers love so much.

    I pointed this out before, but we're to believe we've got the highest employment figures since the 70s, yet working poverty grows day on day. The main reason for this is that employment (and unemployment) figures are entirely pauchled. And, traditionally, the 'chattering classes' have been relatively isolated from the realities of unemployment and underemployment. But the tide that flooded the schemes 30 years ago hasn't subsided, and now the pips are squeaking!

    - Low level, minimum wage, zero hours rubbish isn't 'employment', it's indentured slavery! And OF COURSE its unproductive! We're returning to the Geovictwardian model of a divided society where an ever-shrinking few float on the suffering of the ever-growing many. and that is an entirely engineered situation.

    'Skills gap' I hear from the back of the room? In Scotland (and probably most of the rest of the UK) they started hacking away at the FE sector 25 years ago - and in more recent times have culled skilled and experienced people from the teaching pool in favour compliant box-tickers who imagine it's acceptable to be 'one page ahead of the students' in the subjects they teach.

    So, a quarter-century (or more) of not training and educating people properly, hiving off the manufacturing base and 'redefining unemployment' and generally fiddling the books is finally coming home to statistical roost. - It's not a uniquely Scottish issue.
     
  3. MarkB

    MarkB Administrator Staff Member

    Statistics can be manipulated to say most things and lets face it politicians are the best at doing that :)

    While I agree on a lot of you points, many people fail to recognise that Zero Hour contracts were a consequence of EU legislation which made a difficult situation even worse. The idea was to protect employees and improve their rights but in reality it has had the opposite effect - kept on constant call by employers, and unable to look else where, the idea of zero hour contracts was a failed concept from day one.

    You also mention mimum wage which in many ways is a case of the tail wagging the dog. Historically, pay levels across the board were left to market forces and while there is no doubt that some employers abused this system, not all of them did. For some people relatively low paid jobs offered them a real chance to get onto the ladder and work their way up. I agree there needs to be protection from those abusing workers on slave labour rates but in many ways the minimum wage has increased the instant return which workers require from their employees, thus cutting off an historic route to employment which those maybe not so academically minded had in the past.

    I also get very annoyed about this reference to the living wage and the emotional blackmailing of the busines world. There is a different between the minimum wage and the living wage - one is a legal requirement and the other is not. The living wage is simply a means of reducing pressure on the benefits system by reducing working tax credit payments, etc. The problem is that as we are taxed more and more, partly as a consequence on the ever increasing minimum wage, the benefits pot continues to grow and is spread across a smaller pool meaning that some political parties can continue to demean employment and reward those who do not want to work. It also continual raises the point at which it is financial viable to come off the benefits system and lets face it if you had a family to support you would be crazy to move from benefits to employment on a lower overall financial package? The bottom line is that there should be no employment position which pays less then the benefits system - or to put it another way, the benefits system is out of control and does need prunning but over time. There are many people out there who do want to work but they would be giving up a lot of money which they receive from the benefits system in order to make that leap of faith.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2018
  4. Businessman

    Businessman Member

    Benefits, as an option for living are a complete myth... WTC levels are trivial, there is an online calculator somewhere - plug a few numbers into it and you'll find it's not worth a light. And there are numerous accounts of what a draconian twisted system it's become - even if people are entitled to it, there is no guarantee that they will get it. We've all seen the carefully constructed propaganda demonising those living in poverty, and hear tales of how the system is played. But reality, as always, is different.

    The system is out of control because of its complexity and (in common with much of public service) the abdication of responsibility by the government to various 'private' entities which, on top of the requirement to provide the service, have the additional overhead and overriding priority of servicing shareholders and providing inflated salaries for their (largely parasitic) senior management.

    If you're concerned about your taxes being wasted; then your ire should be directed there; for what these people are about is gambling with, and extracting for themselves, as much of the pot as is possible; simultaneously deflecting attention from their activities, and projecting the blame elsewhere - a common pattern with common crooks!

    Likewise... There is no 'ladder'. Hasn't been in my working lifetime, it was snatched away decades ago. Even with an advanced education, you will encounter various glass ceilings, those without that have, for a few generations now, had no option and no path forward. And the reason for that is our essential manufacturing base has been exported; Shopkeepers, bedammned, artisans bereft, we are instead, expected to be a nation of gamblers!

    As for the tail wagging the dog... No. Absolutely not.

    The entire moral basis, reason and purpose for business being a desirable thing to promote is that it organises and distributes work, from which people must benefit fairly; not be enslaved to. Instead, over the past forty or so years the focus has been on the ever-shrinking few in control, gathering as much from the pot as they can for themselves at the expense of others. - Every social advance that was made as the result of two world wars has been eroded; and the sacrifice of those generations frankly, pissed upon from a great height.

    Simply, if the 'job' you need done does not pay the person you need to do it enough to live on, then your activity is parasitic, because ultimately you expect 'someone else' to either top up what you're paying, or for that person to go hungryand/or homeless. And I've seen very real examples of this in modern Britain. - People have even starved to death in this 21st century benefits paradise!

    - Personally, I'm not prepared to pay below the rates set by BECTU (the television trade union) and simply will not (knowingly) support any business which embraces exploitative or abusive practices . And it's the setting of that rate which then drives forward the cost of providing services. - And to those that might start to wail and gnash their teeth at the 'inflationary' nature of this I'm happy to point out that the rates I charge are among the lowest - for the level and type of service - to be found anywhere in the UK.

    A race to the bottom sees everyone sinking in the dirt! - and I think those particular chickens are coming home to roost; the bigger picture being that we're at a comparable point of scocio-economic crisis was we were 100 years ago, and, sadly, I suspect the catalysts for change might be the same as they were back then.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2018
  5. MarkB

    MarkB Administrator Staff Member

    I believe that companies should pay a fair rate of pay for a fair days pay - inevitablly the market will see those under paid offered a fair rate elsewhere so those who constantly under pay will suffer. There needs to be a balance between company owners and employers - there is no fall back plan for company owners, no top up from the government and they are excluded from maximum weekly hours regulations. Also, the government use companies and the self-employed as "unpaid tax collectors" - just imagine how long it takes to run payroll systems which are ultimately used to pay employee tax and national insurance to the government.

    I notice this "And to those that might start to wail and gnash their teeth at the 'inflationary' nature of this I'm happy to point out that the rates I charge are among the lowest" - surely if your rates are rising less than wage inflation, your profits margins are being eroded?

    A lot of the elements associated with running a business are out of synch - high employment, no wage inflation, RPI on the rise but companies not able to improve profitability. We need a massive rebasing of the UK business market and all costs associated with it.
     
  6. Businessman

    Businessman Member

    I'm afraid history proves there is no inevitability to this... Otherwise we would not be at the - frankly breaking - point we are at now.

    I agree with all that you say on company owners; at least as far as the majority are concerned. But let's remember, the majority of 'companies' are very small concerns; so small in fact that in the 'fantasy football mentality' espoused by our overlords, they just don't count! - those causing the problems are - without exception as far as I know - ring fenced and utterly remote from the very real harm they do.

    Where did I say that? - I said the rates I charge are among the lowest - for the level and type of service - to be found anywhere in the UK. And that's achieved by eliminating cost-drivers that don't contribute to the end product.. No leggy receptionist, no 'free bar', no cupcakes; and if you're looking for someone to play pirates with (yes, one idiot thinks this is a USP suitable for tempting adults) - that's not me.

    Profit - a necessary evil... And a bad KPI to hang your hat on.