Friday, January 27, 2006

Britain's worst employment blackspot

London has lowest level of employment in the country

London has been revealed as the country’s worst employment blackspot, as well as having the second highest unemployment, despite being by far the wealthiest part of Britain.
London is the only region in Britain where unemployment is now higher than in 1979.
Only 69.4 per cent of the workforce are working in the capital, the lowest in the country, against a UK average of 74.7 per cent.
In five boroughs - Newham, Tower Hamlets, Hackney, Haringey and Barking & Dagenham - employment is below the EU average of 63.3 per cent.
Although there are enough jobs in London, they are not being taken up for various reasons. The capital has the highest proportions of ethnic
minorities, lone parents, ex-prisoners and drug addicts, who often lack
education and skills.
Astronomical rent and house prices prevent many from taking low-paid jobs and losing benefits. Many of the best and well-paid jobs are taken by commuters from outside London.
Unemployment in London (people actively seeking work rather than just
receiving benefits) is 6.6 per cent, second only to the north-east and way above the national average of 4.7 per cent.
Unemployment is far worse for the capital’s minorities - 11.7 per cent
compared to 5.3 per cent for white Londoners. In Tower Hamlets 23.6% of
non-whites are unemployed.

Middle-Class Flight

Meanwhile an urban taskforce led by architect Lord Rogers has warned that the middle classes are abandoning inner London and other cities, threatening a “deepening racial and social divide”.
The study called for the development of more mixed communities on recycled urban land to tackle “massive inequalities”, even though Britain’s inner cities have overcome many of the problems of the 1980s and 90s caused by industrial decline.
The taskforce of architects and planners said there was increasing
“ghettoisation” between rented and private housing because new projects had low quality housing and were isolated from existing communities.
The group decided to produced their own study because recommendations they made six years ago in a government-backed report had been virtually ignored.
Lord Rogers singled out developments along the River Thames , saying “if you take a trip down the Thames, you’re absolutely amazed at the appalling design.”
One reason for this was a maze of public agencies, all with separate
The report says government funding was skewed towards new building in areas which were already over-congested, undermining existing communities – a criticism of deputy prime minister John Prescott’s “sustainable communities” plan focused on four big growth areas in southeastern England.

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