Hello Bloggers,

We’re not alone in the UK when we see a rising rate of unemployment, a depressed jobs market and increasing public sector job loss. These are current trends across both sides of the ‘Pond’.

The number of US citizens claiming unemployment benefits for the first time was reported recently as rising by 35,000 in one week. The number of people on benefits across the US rose from 8.8m to 9.2m. This is a particular blow to the US Government that has sought to kick-start their economy through quantitative easing (printing more money) and other measures to create new jobs. The increase has been attributed to more US people ‘giving up’ the search for work – as long-term unemployment is becoming harder for those on Capitol Hill to control – see my blog post ‘The Beveridge Curve’.

Similar trends are apparent in the UK – unemployment rose to over 2.5m recently and the number of people out of work was reported on an upward trajectory of 7.9% with an increasing number of people not seeking work but within the working populous.

Enter ‘The Global Skills Race’ (the theme of the PPMA 2010 Conference): most business experts and economists agree that improved workforce skills provide the fulcrum with growth and national prosperity – surely this holds the key to future success?

I urge both UK and US Governments to consider investing in the skill sets of their respective workforces…otherwise either side of the pond the future looks tough.

Dean.