Accountants in the dole queue

The number of accountants joining the dole queue has grown by 142%. That’s a shocking statistic that should have working accountants everywhere thinking: ‘There but for the grace…’ . Despite talk of ‘green shoots’ the economy looks grim and so do the job prospects for accountants, if the figures are to be taken at face value.
The total now stands at around 1,500 signing on, with about another 1,000 management accountants also claiming benefits, around 2,500 altogether.
The Financial Reporting Council estimates there are 250,000 qualified accountants in the UK. Take 10% off to allow for those that are currently retired and you get 225,000. So, that means according to labour statistics around 1% of the accountancy workforce may be signing on.
The growth in the claiming rate is alarming. But national unemployment stands at around 6.5%. The total number of claimants stands at 1.39 million.
Even if you allowed for doubling the claimant rate for accountants, because many people would for some time refuse sign on, you still don’t approach the national unemployment rate. It means accountants, as a profession, appears to be faring better than others.
But, note this. According to the Office of National Statistics, the last quarter of last year saw the number of jobs in business and finance fall by 100,000. The City would account for most of that. The total loss of jobs in the quarter was 203,000 – the largest quarterly fall since 1992. Lets hope that the job losses have peaked – and that the number of accountants signing on will now start to fall.

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