When Gordon Brown’s economic adviser Business Minister Baroness Vadera inadvertently slipped up this week, claiming she could see the first “green shoots” of economic recovery, she was ridiculed for crass insensitivity.
Companies are going bust and thousands of jobs are being lost, with new announcements every day.
Yet, as Andrew Higginson pointed out when Tesco unveiled a 2.5% like-for-like uplift in Christmas trading, Tesco is creating 10,000 new jobs this year.
And thousands more will be created at Asda, Sainsbury's, Morrisons and the discounters, as they all build new stores. In fact, as our new Jobometer reveals, jobs created in the grocery trade will outnumber jobs lost by more than 1,000. If you strip out the effect of Woolworths, which was not a core grocery player, 28,000 more jobs will be created than lost in grocery this year.
Of course, the worrying thing is that the bulk of job losses are among food and drink manufacturers, but job creation in retail is still a reason to be cheerful. And we all need those at the moment.