From our Swindon Correspondent:
The only thing we all know is that a 66% drop in people working away from home will have a negative impact on so many sectors of the economy. Jobs will be lost, a lot of jobs.
— Kirstie Allsopp (@KirstieMAllsopp) August 5, 2020
You could describe me as a Work from Home obsessive. I’ve poured over data and watched it happening pre-Covid and thought about this a great deal. And yes, jobs are going to be destroyed. The nice Romanian woman who serves me coffee at Cafe Nero, the friendly chap who sells me pasties, too. While I very much agree with our dear leader’s oft repeated statement that Jobs are a Cost, there’s also people with those jobs.
But importantly, we’ve done this before. Hundreds, thousands of times. My ancestors includes some whitesmiths. A bit like blacksmiths, but finer metalwork. Products like shiny belt buckles and the stirrups on horses. Not a whole lot of demand for horse stirrups now, but we get by. My wife’s family included a cooper and a few stage actors, back when there was a lot of demand for them. Weavers, screw makers, typists, silkworm farmers, furriers, farriers, knocker uppers, town cryers, telegraph boys, and the people who make vacuum cleaner bags are all pretty much gone.
If we all work from home, maybe even move out of cities, there’s going to be opportunities. There’s going to be new jobs around work from home. Maybe more people get Graze boxes delivered as a treat. Maybe people spend more money on their gardens. Maybe people will buy better VR PCs to play with their mates. Maybe they go out and use the excess to buy a nice sports car. But I’m pretty certain most of that money not going on season tickets will go somewhere. Even if people can’t get to the pub or holiday so easily, they want cheering up.