We must create new jobs as a matter of urgency and the key is leadership
Clifton gives depressing analysis but suggests too that there is hope
The book The Coming Jobs War-What every leader should know about job creation- written by CEO of Gallup, Jim Clifton argues that, of the five billion adults in the world aged 15 and over, three billion tell Gallup they want to work. But there are only 1.2 billion such jobs, leaving a staggering shortfall of 1.8 billion who will be unable to find quality, interesting, full-time jobs. We are experiencing very high rates of youth unemployment here in the UK, including among recent graduates, but our situation is better than in Greece, Italy and Spain. The Spanish figures show almost half of all 16-24 year-olds in the country are jobless – 48.6%.
Although Clifton focuses mainly on the USA he clearly sees his analysis as having a global relevance. It’s a provocative book and presents a challenge for business and government leaders. Leaders of countries and cities, Clifton says, should focus on creating good jobs because as jobs go, so does the fate of nations. Jobs bring prosperity, peace, and human development – but long-term unemployment ruins lives, cities, and countries. Creating good jobs though is tough, not helped by many leaders are doing many things wrong. They’re undercutting entrepreneurs for example instead of cultivating them. They’re running companies with depressed workforces. They’re letting the next generation of job creators rot in state bad schools. A global jobs war is coming, and there’s no time to waste he claims. Cities are crumbling for lack of good jobs. Nations are in revolt because their people can’t get good jobs. The cities and countries that act first, that focus everything they have on creating good jobs — are the ones that will win. This really has to be a war on job loss, on low workplace energy, on healthcare costs, on low graduation rates, on brain drain, and on community disengagement,” he says. “Those things destroy cities, destroy job growth and destroy city GDP. Every city requires its own master plan that is as serious as planning for war.” The next big breakthrough, and the one that will help keep the United States on top, will come from a combination of the forces within big cities, great universities, and powerful local leaders:
Local leadership: The leadership at the local level is key to creating new jobs. Cities need leaders who will bring in new companies that create new jobs. Companies need to hire the right people. “More money, jobs and GDP turns on who is named manager than on any other decision,” says Clifton. “Fire all lousy managers today.”
Entrepreneurial innovation: “Entrepreneurs are the rainmakers,” says Clifton. When enough entrepreneurs gather in a city and create formal jobs, they start a virtuous cycle. Silicon Valley is a great example of this phenomenon. Other cities are showing positive signs of growth. Business leaders who are willing to take risks will pave the way for new jobs and economic growth.
Education: A few of the most well- known entrepreneurs dropped out of college, and some people believe that college gets in the way of innovation. Not according to Clifton. Great universities are the origin of most highly successful start-ups. They are a critical part of new-company formation, and America has a decided advantage because its top 100 universities are its most differentiating global strength in the war for jobs.
Clifton concludes The Coming Jobs War with ten findings that are “the most important of literally trillions of combinations of data and opinions Gallup has studied” for the United States to win:
The biggest problem facing the world is adequate jobs.
Job creation can only be accomplished in cities.
The three key sources of job creation in America are: the country’s top 100 cities, its top 100 universities, and its 10,000 local ‘tribal’ leaders.
Entrepreneurship is more important than innovation.
America cannot outrun its healthcare costs.
Because all public education results are local, local leaders need to lead their whole cities and all youth programs to war on the dropout rate, with the strategy of one city, one school, and one student at a time.
The United States must differentiate itself by doubling its number of engaged employees.
Jobs occur when new customers appear.
Every economy rides on the backs of small to medium sized businesses.
The United States needs to more than triple its exports in the next five years and increase them by 20 times in the next 30 years.
The basic message here, from Clifton, is that sustainable jobs do not just happen or are the result of government action. Indeed, the all-important ‘start-ups’ and ‘shoot-ups’ don’t occur because of new legislation, new rules, more free money, or any other government tweaking. They occur during moments of unusually high inspiration. More specifically, high inspiration toward entrepreneurship and free enterprise. There is no other way out, he argues There will in practice be no surge in ‘start-ups’ and ‘shoot-ups’ until leaders change the environment from its current state of no confidence to high confidence.
Easier said, than done.What is clear is that our economy is not creating enough jobs for those coming into the jobs market and you can have loads of entrepreneurs out there , but if they cant arrange lines of credit and loans, or attract investors, no amount of good ideas is going to create sustainable jobs .Our politicians have no quick fix to address this.Operation Merlin the governments plan, with the banks, to ease credit shows no sign of working . Improving the supply and price of credit to the lower end of the market is an urgent priority