Signs of a global economic downturn are growing by the day. Inflation is still going up, debt is up and interest rates are up, which means that projections for growth are down. Put simply, the proverbial something is close to hitting the fan.
Business closures and job losses are likely to become another hurdle for the global economy – and that points to rising unemployment. Yet, while most people would think of rising unemployment as a bad thing, some economists do not entirely agree.
Economists have long pointed to a counterintuitive positive relationship between unemployment and entrepreneurship, born of the fact that people who lose their job often start businesses. This is often referred to within economic literature as necessity-based or push-factor entrepreneurship.
The tricky part
There is certainly good evidence for the existence of this contradictory relationship. The graph below shows the rates of UK business creation in blue and unemployment in red. As you can see, unemployment started to increase during the global financial crisis of 2007-’09 and business creation followed not long after.
This relationship between business creation and unemployment has previously been used by some as a justification for cold social policies towards the unemployed on the rationale that “the market fixes itself” in the long run. They see business closures and job losses not…