The Midlands is 'a hero region'. So say researchers at Kingston University. In a survey for Barclays Bank they report that on average five new private sector jobs have been created at each private firm across our region over the past three years.
And they predict they'll each create another 13 jobs on average over the coming year as well. And last week the former Trade Minister Digby, Lord Jones of Birmingham (one of the GOATS in Gordon Brown's 'Government of all the talents') told us if every firm employed just ONE more person it would make a world of difference.
The Coalition Government certainly hope that's how it turns out. They're banking on the private sector generating the economic growth needed to offset the effects of as many as 500,000 public sector job losses as a result of Chancellor George Osborne's Spending Review.
And he found extra encouragement in this week's growth figures showing that the economy expanded by 0.8% during the 3rd quarter, twice the number expected by market analysts. During PMQs David Cameron told MPs Labour had been warning about a 'double-dip': now they were experiencing a 'double depression'. He agreed with the West Worcestershire MP Harriett Baldwin's claim that these numbers showed the private sector was indeed generating that all-important growth.
On last Sunday's Politics Show in the Midlands the boss of a small business in Tamworth, Paul Reid, told viewers the business community was certainly up for the challenge.
But the Birmingham Erdington MP Jack Dromey said he had no doubt the business community would do their best, but doubted their ability to deliver that growth in the face of contracting markets among their public sector customers like the police and local authorities, where budgets are being cut by around 7% year-on-year.
So what's the reality on the ground? And what are the prospects for up to 100,000 public sector workers who the unions say will lose their jobs in our part of the country alone?
My colleague Susana Mendonca will be reporting from Coventry, a city which often feels as though it's been singled out for special treatment. Having haemorrhaged jobs in its once-famous manufacturing industries the city is now losing up to 500 jobs following Mr Osborne's decision to throw locally-based educational quangos including BECTA and the QCDA onto that famous 'bonfire'. At least Fusion, a branch of the BLG Insurance Group, has just announced the creation of 100 jobs at its call centre in the city. As so often, they're not exactly 'like for like' replacements but at least it's a start.
And we'll also be talking to the employment specialists Personal Career Management, who recently opened a new HQ in Birmingham. Their move is well-timed, because they offer expert advice for those who fall prey to the cull, helping them redesign their career aspirations to compete more effectively with this challenging jobs market. We'll be asking some of them whether or not it is working for them.
No one pretends it will be easy.
Patrick Browne is the boss of Hyrdrapower Dynamics Ltd, a long-established manufacturing company in Birmingham. He tells us he's not looking to employ people at the moment and asks what they'd do with those from the public sector anyway?
So, plenty for us to talk about on the Politics Show this week at its usual time of 12 noon on BBC One, Sunday 31 October, when we'll be joined 'live' by the Conservative MP for Rugby and Bulkington Mark Pawsey and by the Labour MP for West Bromwich West Adrian Bailey, Chairman of the Commons Business Select Committee.