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'Future worrying' as unemployment twice the national average

PUBLISHED: 18:00 18 August 2011

Unemployment figures in the borough have risen

Unemployment figures in the borough have risen

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»Almost twice as many people are looking for a job in Tower Hamlets as the national average, new figures show.

After a steady increase in the numbers claiming Job Seeker’s Allowance over the past six months, July recorded its worst figure yet, with almost 11,000 people out of work in the East End.

That does not include others on long term benefits.

Drastic rise

More than six per cent of the borough’s population are unemployed, compared to 3.8 per cent for Britain and just over four per cent for London.

Some have attributed the figures to the large number of public sector jobs cut since late last year.

At the Town Hall, more than 500 posts have been axed and more are to go in administrative departments. Barts and The London NHS Trust is scrapping 600 jobs.

Glyn Robbins, of anti-cuts group Hands Off Our Public Services, said: “It may have appeared that Tower Hamlets was spared in last week’s riots compared to other areas, but with those sorts of unemployment figures the future is worrying.

“We gave a trillion pounds to the bankers to bail them out and now we’re having to pay the price for that.”

Unemployment in the borough stood at 5.8 per cent at the beginning of the year.

The Department for Work and Pensions said measures are being put in place to tackle the drastic rise in certain areas, including new Entreprise Zones which it says will create 30,000 new jobs by 2015.

It said this year and next it will also increase funding for apprenticeships.

Employment minister Chris Grayling said: “These are disappointing figures but we always said that the road to recovery would be choppy. Clearly this has been a difficult few months with a range of one-off factors and a slowdown in the world economy having an impact on the UK.”

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