Downshifting benefits workers as well as bosses: Letter

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The Independent Online
Sir: A survey from the Federation of Small Businesses highlights the disturbing phenomenon of the "jobless recovery". More than 82 per cent of small firms plan to create no new jobs in the next three months, in spite of apparent economic recovery.

Many employers claim that increased deregulation and flexibility enable them to hire people more easily. Yet the economic sector which is supposed to provide significant employment growth tells us not to expect any new jobs. Although official unemployment figures have shown a fall over the past few years, that trend may be on the turn.

Gillian Shephard, Secretary of State for Education and Employment, has said Britain is forging ahead in job creation "because the right conditions exist for companies to flourish". A genuine recovery has to include job creation. Companies cannot truly "flourish" in a society where increasing numbers of people are in under-protected, insecure work or have no prospect of employment at all.

Jo Gardiner

The Industrial Society

London W1