Jobs first or housing first?


It’s a conundrum isn’t it?

What do we think?  Well some preliminary work results in rather interesting numbers and its more complex than probably everyone thought!

It looks as if for every 100 new houses (with 100 jobseekers) 70 jobs are required to service the new houses – retail, health and other mainly service jobs.  That means that 70 of the jobseekers are catered for.  These are NOT new jobs for the existing population!

That leaves 30 jobseekers and where do they go?  That depends, with average economic growth the economy can probably produce enough jobs to cater for them.  Lower growth could mean more economic inactivity or unemployment.  Higher growth should mean that people in the workforce can get better jobs.

To conclude – jobs do not appear first out of nowhere and we certainly do not need to import more labour to fill new jobs. With a stable population we could concentrate on improving the quality of jobs instead of playing catchup.

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5 comments on “Jobs first or housing first?

  1. David T says:

    70 jobs for every 100 new residents or 70 jobs for each 100 new houses? I would have thought the average number of working age residents per house is a little more than 1.

    • cosadone says:

      Every 100 houses has the equivalent of 100 jobseekers. For every 100 households 70 jobs may be created to support the demand created by 100 households.

      • David T says:

        Where does the figure of 1 jobseeker per house come from?

        I suppose there are some households that are only composed of retired people, without any jobseekers, but other households will have at least 1, and possibly more than 2 if you take account of households with grown-up children, or a houseshare with several working-age people. These situations which may be more common now that young people find it more difficult to buy or rent independently.

      • cosadone says:

        In 2011 there were in fact 259,000 economically active people for 230,000 houses with residents so we could say 1.1 jobseekers per house. The principle is the same.

      • David T says:

        It would be better to have figures for people moving into new-build housing than an overall average for all housing, but in my opinion it would be more likely to shift the statistics in favour of more job-seekers than less.

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