Wednesday, June 15, 2016

UK joblessness at lowest since 2005; Nigeria up against currency crisis; 'Want-repreneur' versus entrepreneur

1 UK joblessness at lowest since 2005 (Phillip Inman in The Guardian) UK unemployment dropped to its lowest rate since 2005 in April, to a level which without the looming Brexit vote would set off interest rate warning bells at the Bank of England.

The unemployment rate fell to 5% from 5.1% in March, while the number of jobs in the economy jumped 55,000 from March to set a record high employment rate of 74.2%. Once the jobless rate falls below 5%, the Bank believes wage pressures start to build.

The strength of the jobs market was seized on by the chancellor, George Osborne, who tweeted: “At 5%, unemployment at its lowest rate for 11 years – let’s not put that at risk by irreversible decision to quit EU.”

Campaigners for Britain to leave the EU were expected to claim the figures showed employers were relaxed about a Brexit vote, but John Philpott, director of the JobsEconomist, said the increase in the total number of people employed relied on a huge increase in self-employment.

“The UK private sector effectively stopped hiring in the spring. Employees account for just 5,000 of the 55,000 increase in total employment in the three months to April, almost all of which is due to a rise in self-employment,” he said.

2 Nigeria up against currency crisis (BBC) Nigeria will allow the embattled naira to trade freely in a move to control the currency crisis in Africa's most populous nation. The new system will come into effect on 20 June and is expected to lead to a significant devaluation of the naira.

Being a major oil exporter, Africa's biggest economy has taken a hit from the fall in commodity prices. The fixed currency rate had created a vast black market for US dollars and squeezed the country's economy. The naira is fixed at 197 to the US dollar, but the black market rate has soared to 370 in recent months.

The currency fix was introduced in February 2015 to stop the naira from falling when lower oil prices sparked trouble for Nigeria's economy. But a prolonged period of holding a currency at an artificial level often has a disruptive effect as foreign companies become reluctant to import goods when they are paid at distorted levels.

For months, Nigeria has been in the grips of a severe foreign currency shortage. As oil prices plummeted, so did the country's foreign currency earnings, meaning there was less cash to pay for imports. Unlike other major petroleum producers, such as Russia, Nigeria refused to devalue its currency.

The country's president wanted Nigerian businesses to make what they could not import and to diversify the economy away from the oil industry. But that policy led to widespread shortages of raw materials, machine parts and supermarket products. But the new exchange rate is likely to push up already high inflation. And that will hurt tens of millions of Nigerians who live in abject poverty.

3 ‘Want’-repreneur versus entrepreneur (Brandon Turner in San Francisco Chronicle) Are you an entrepreneur or a "want"-repreneur? These four questions should help answer that question.
A Are you asking ‘if’ or ‘how’? In today's connected world, it's rarely a question of "if" but "how." 

Therefore, if you want to move from want-repreneur to entrepreneur, you must become someone who continually asks, "How?" rather than "If." Because, asking the latter gets you nowhere: It allows your brain to simply say no.

Asking "how" gets your creative juices flowing and allows for solutions: How can this business be built? How can I raise capital? How can I buy that commercial building? How can I write a book?

B Whom are you learning from? While it seems silly to take advice from someone less successful, want-repreneurs do it all the time. On the other hand, entrepreneurs look for those who are wildly more successful than themselves. They want their butt kicked because it means they're growing.

C What do you do about your many ideas? Both entrepreneurs and want-repreneurs have a lot of ideas. Want-repreneurs have a new idea each week and are constantly chasing the next shiny new object. Entrepreneurs, on the other hand, understand that the passion will not last, but they continue to work on just one idea for as long as possible. They know that nearly any idea will work, given enough time and focus.

D What’s on your schedule? Want-repreneurs have a lot of plans and ideas, but rarely take the time each day to work on the nitty-gritty in their business. Entrepreneurs, on the other hand, schedule time each day to work on their most important tasks. This concept, often known as time-blocking, can completely revolutionize a business because tasks are given a place of priority among all the calls, meetings, commuting, haircuts, kids' soccer games and other daily events. Time-blocking is how entrepreneurs get things done.

Being a want-repreneur, then, is easy. All you need to do is dream. But if you want to see your actions produce fruit, you need to shoot the 'want-repreneur' in yourself and start taking action. How about today?

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