It's All About the Numbers

Posted on Aug 17, 2022. by NTI


It's all about numbers in today's news (Wednesday 17 August). Tracee was reading online about "... someone called Ryan Giggs", who she has never heard of, but reckons looks just like her grandad. In answer to allegations about being a love rat Giggs's defence, one he would have danced around in his footballing prime, is that he was sent off just once in more than 1,000 games, which his defence team suggest makes him 'not a violent person'. Yep, no holes in that one, Giggsy.

Another number worth a second take is the 200,000 international workers UK hospitality businesses have lost since the end of 2019, according to an industry survey by the recruiter, as the effects of Brexit and the Coronavirus pandemic squeeze the jobs market.

You won't necessarily need telling this, having had your order for a steak misunderstood by your waiter who returned with a stick on a plate, but the hospitality sector is historically made up of more than 40 per cent non-British workforce, according to the Office for National Statistics. Chefs born out of the UK have not been allowed access to 'skilled worker' status, which would make entry into Britain easier (only to be held up on the M20 for three days having successfully immigrated) and UKHospitality, the industry body, estimates that vacancies are costing businesses £21 billion in unmet demand and lost revenue, and the Treasury around £5 billion in lost tax.

We have saved our favourite numbers until last. Today the Insolvency Service published its monthly insolvency statistics for July 2022, which contain data on company and individual insolvencies. The statistics show that there were 1,827 registered company insolvencies, 67% higher than in July 2021 (1,096) and 27% higher than the number registered pre-Coronavirus pandemic levels (July 2019, 1,440).

All roads point to Rio, as the numbers suggest that directors who had been clinging to cliff-faces have decided no longer to trust the ghost and are choosing to close their businesses, perhaps because they believe that the current economic conditions make survival impossible.

For individuals, 531 Bankruptcies were registered, which was 16% lower than in July 2021 and 64% lower than in July 2019.

The headline figure that even made it onto the third page of business news in the Times, just above something about South Korea and below an hilarious piece about Donald Trump's visits to Scotland, was that attributed to Creditors' Voluntary Liquidations. 1,609 CVLs were registered in July, 60% higher than in July 2021 and 60% higher than July 2019. Our good friend Christina Fiztgerald, President of R3, cheerily said that things could only get worse as even bigger negative numbers hit our screens at the end of the summer and into the autumn.

The personal numbers? The month-on-month fall shown in the figures published today was a result of a fall in Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVAs) and Debt Relief Orders (DROs), although Bankruptcy numbers increased by 7.9%. We in the NTI newsroom consider this may be the last month we can type those letters in that order about personal insolvencies for a number of months/years.

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