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Labour calls on Mayor to take action on Tower Hamlets’ unemployment levels

PUBLISHED: 13:04 22 June 2012 | UPDATED: 11:36 25 June 2012

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Labour is urging Tower Hamlets Mayor Lutfur Rahman to come up with a coherent jobs plan after new figures revealed there are now 15 unemployed applicants for every job in the borough.

The figures for May, which were released by the Office for National Statistics this week, show that unemployment in the borough has reached 13 per cent.

The figures for May, which were released by the Office for National Statistics last week, show that unemployment in the borough has reached 13 per cent.

In the last month there were 713 vacancies available, but a total of 10,605 people unemployed, prompting Labour to call on Mayor Rahman to do more to promote jobs in the borough.

Councillor Anwar Khan, who is Tower Hamlets Labour’s spokesperson on work and growth, said: “With nearly 15 people chasing every job it is clear that Tower Hamlets is crying out for action.

“Unemployment is increasing in Tower Hamlets whilst the Mayor’s administration is missing their targets on joblessness, the people of this borough will demand to know why the Mayor appears so complacent about unemployment.”

The figures reveal that Tower Hamlets has the ninth highest ratio of unemployed applicants for each available vacancy in the country.

Labour MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, Rushanara Ali, believes the problems in Tower Hamlets illustrate that the Coalition government is not doing enough to tackle unemployment.

She said: “These latest figures just go to show that this Tory-led Government is completely failing to address unemployment.

“This is a particularly difficult time to be unemployed and this Government is failing on the economy, failing on jobs and failing to support those people who have found themselves out of work.”

In a statement released to the Advertiser, Mayor Rahman rejected Labour’s claims, and defended his record.

He said: “Tackling unemployment is one of my key priorities and I am committed to getting local people into work. Our award winning Skillsmatch service has already taken great steps to do this with over 600 residents placed in employment in the last year. My agreement with LOCOG has resulted in 1,700 Olympic jobs being offered to residents.

He also echoed Rushanari Ali MP’s calls for more action from the Coalition to promote growth and employment. He added: “This Tory-led coalition government has failed to tackle soaring unemployment in this country and we are seeing the impact in our borough.

“We are now officially in a double-dip recession, this government has failed on its economic recovery plan and now appears to be without a growth plan to get this country out of this mess.”

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