Never mind the much-debated ‘Olympic Legacy’: in the middle of Gordon Brown’s recession, what about the here and now ? Real help for real people ? British jobs for British workers ? Here’s the official story:
"Up to 30,000 construction jobs will have been created on the Olympic site in east London by 2012, according to the Olympic Delivery Authority. The workforce on the Olympic park and Olympic village is expected to rise to 11,000 later this year, from the present level of 3,315. • 23% are local residents • 57% are from London • 9% were previously unemployed before finding work helping deliver the Games and 51% of these workers live locally"
The ONS offers all manner of statistics shown by local authority. So how about the impact of the Olympics on job prospects in the benighted boroughs of Newham (where most of the facilities are being built) and neighbouring Tower Hamlets ?
Here are the unemployment data for the period 2007 - 2008, when the recession had yet to bite deeply but Olympic construction was taking off. Neither the UK overall, nor London as a whole, saw very much increase. But the two boroughs in question, both in a worse position at the start of the period, saw significant increases in unemployment.
The off-hand response is obvious enough – if you want a job done properly, get a Pole. But seriously, how can HMG square this with its rhetoric ?
Footnote: for completeness it should be noted that over the same period unemployment fell significantly in Hackney, and remained flat in Barking & Dagenham. What local factors am I missing ? Am I reading these numbers correctly ? Or are they all just fictitious ? What is going on here ?