The UK is officially in recession, and Islington’s not immune.
The latest unemployment figures show that the number of people claiming Jobseekers’ Allowance in Islington rose from 5,239 in November 2008 to 5,585 in December – that’s a 6.6% increase. That compares with a national increase in the unemployment rate for the 3 months previously of 6.1%. And that in turn is the worst for nearly a decade.
Islington isn’t a company town, we don’t rely on a single large employer. Islington people work in a rich mix of the City, the law and the NHS; shops, small local firms, local council and civil service, the media; and service industries from cleaning to web-design. So the borough has been protected from industry-specific downturns. But as the figures show, this general recession is hitting everyone. Plans for more local apprenticeships are one practical response.
Meanwhile our local Labour MP Emily Thornberry still seems in denial. Her website proclaims “Life for the people of Islington is getting better because we have a Labour government. Our economy is stronger and the money that the government is investing in Islington is making real improvements.”