This is – says the Evening Standard – the worst jobless crisis since the 1980s. There are now one million young people who are unemployed, with more than a fifth of sixteen to twenty four years old without jobs.
In London just over 59,000 eighteen to twenty four years are now without jobs, while in the East End , unemployment overall has risen by 16% in just one year. Here in Tower Hamlets we have had a 13.2% increase in unemployment – from 10,265 to 11,877.
Of course the trouble with all of these statistics is that each number is an individual. Each individual will have his or her own story to tell, and many will be heartbreaking. For some older workers, there will be the fear of not finding work again. For many of the younger members of our community, there will be anger and frustration at the lack of opportunity.
It is no use blaming the problems of the Euro zone for the worst unemployment in over a generation. Those problems are yet to exacerbate an already deeply serious situation.
Let’s be clear, the Conservative led Coalition calls for ‘policies for growth’ in the rest of Europe , while cutting and squeezing at home, is proving to be utterly wrong. This crisis of jobs is one that is made in Downing Street .
Here in Tower Hamlets, where we have so far resisted some of the worst effects of this Government’s economic policy, the pressure continues to build. None of this will stop me or my administration continuing to battle for jobs and education in our borough – while working with others to create an alternative of jobs for all.