British society will need to accommodate a higher level of unemployment well into the 1980s. Forecasters now differ only by degrees of pessimism in their general pronouncements on the economy and employment in the medium term. Whilst there is much less agreement about prospects for the 1990s, the employment situation is likely to continue to deteriorate without significant changes in policy and in attitudes. The seeds of a strategy for coping with such changes must be sown in the next few years. During that period, however, the development of the economy could create an extremely hostile environment for the kind of social and economic experimentation which is now called for. Therefore it is all the more important to establish the likely pattern of economic change over the next five years or so, to discuss those policies required for the long-term benefit of the economy and to consider problems of implementation which are likely to arise on a shorter time-scale. The conflicts which exist between pursuing long-term objectives and the reality of the economic situation in the short term will always be with us. Medium-term policy should provide a means of controlled compromise between the two, through which the rhetoric associated with the former is confronted with the expediency engendered by the latter. In order to do this, however, the policy must be explicit.
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- Lindley, R.M. (1978) (ed.) Britain’s Medium-Term Employment Prospects. Coventry: Manpower Research Group, University of Warwick.Google Scholar