Coffee House

The Olympic effect on jobs

17 October 2012

17 October 2012

It seems today’s good jobs figures — employment at a record high and the unemployment rate back below 8 per cent — are at least partly thanks to the Olympic Games.

While the UK added 212,000 net jobs in June-August, London alone added 101,000 — accounting for 47 per cent of the total rise. And — as Citi’s Michael Saunders observes  — the six boroughs that hosted the Games (Hackney, Newham, Barking and Dagenham, Waltham Forest, Tower Hamlets and Greenwich) have seen their proportion of residents claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance fall by an average of 0.48 percentage points, compared to 0.25 points for the other 27 London boroughs and 0.1 points for the country as a whole.

Subscribe from £1 per week

Hackney’s dole queue is 1,252 people shorter than it was a year ago — the biggest drop of any local authority in the country.

But those hoping for wider economic benefits from the Games are likely to be disappointed. There was no spectacular boost in tourism — the number of foreign visitors to the UK this summer was 7 per cent lower than last year — or retail — sales fell by 0.2 per cent from July to August, although they were up 2.7 per cent on August 2011. Citi Research says ‘in our view, the Olympics proved to be a fantastic sporting event, but not an economic policy’.

As for GDP, the Bank of England has estimated  that the Games would add about 0.2 points to Q3 growth. That, coupled with the effect of the Diamond Jubilee (which reduced Q2 growth by about 0.5 points, hence boosting Q3 growth by 0.5 points), should produce growth of 0.7 per cent in Q3. The NIESR estimates that Q3 growth was actually 0.8 per cent, suggesting underlying growth was just above zero. We’ll get the ONS’s first estimate a week tomorrow.

More Spectator for less. Subscribe and receive 12 issues delivered for just £12, with full web and app access. Join us.

Show comments
  • Jez

    Were many of these guys the ones asleep whilst on duty for G4S?
    No matter where these kids are from (and some grown ups) e.g. the ethnic groups that are dominant in the areas; Hackney; black, Tower hamlets; Bangla’ Muslim, Dagenham; East End diaspora- they need something of substance to get a grips with.
    How many of these youngsters that actually held positions in the Olympic sites (that were utterly let down by the utter incompetances of G4S) actually held higher educational certificates? Probably lots. And how many realtime, proper careers do they have to look forward to in the future once this blip dissapears. Probably not many?
    I’m sure the eastern European community around Peterborough has a rise in employment when it’s harvest time- because this once year opportunity arises and needs one-off labour.
    The same with the Olympics?….. The ‘Summer Like No Other’?…. Maybe?
    The people who frequent the chambers at Westminster need to start again with all this. Stimulate the economy, drop fuel prices, subsidize home grown business, go ‘hell to leather’ with Domestic energy sources and stop selling out British people who live here- no matter what background.
    Fuck the draconian & divisive PC bullshit that is aimed at the white minority in many of the London boroughs mentioned above. Stop any more people by the ‘hundreds of thousands’ flooding into the UK. Get the kids who’s parents have come here to seek a better life and the kids who’s parents got out of the inner cities- that are now on the scrap heap into PROPER PERMANENT WORK.
    It’s simple. But impossible for the government and their counterparts due to their utterly sell out and anti British sentiments…… Keep pumping money into the EU, flood the country and destroy what makes it a beacon for people to want to come here in the first place and let’s get lined up to do more damage with people like JP Morgan when they pull out of government.

  • anyfool

    All these minor details about Olympic effects and other minor holiday details are irrelevant, the bit that matters is net migration.
    You can bet the ones leaving will be higher net worth in skills and money than the ones coming in, this will slowly drain the country of the reservoir of skills and knowledge that will get ever harder to replace.

    • HooksLaw

      Its not just Briton’s who emigrate its the others, Poles etc, and students who previously came here. Many Brits who emigrate are pensioners. No doubt the immigrant figure is lifted by those who realise what a mistake it was to leave in the first place.

      The people who suffer from the influx from overseas are the low paid who see their work taken from them.

  • Frank P


  • Daniel Maris

    A million young people out of work! Wake up please!! This is a national disaster.

  • HooksLaw

    ‘There was no spectacular boost in tourism — the number of foreign visitors to the UK this summer was 7 per cent lower than last year’ – so in other words the Olympic games were a drag on jobs.
    The reality is that unemployment is significantly down and employment is significantly up by figures that go way beyond an Olympic effect.

    This is some funny kind of recession and these are funny employment figures considering the dire portents of doom spouted by Miliband in his conference speech.

    • daniel maris

      Has the government added up all the working hours of those jobs and compared them with previous working hours? Unless you do you can’t say employment is up or down, only that an uncertain amount of work has been shared out among a certain number of people.

    • HJ777

      The number of visitors was down, but their spending was up. It seems that visitors to London during the Olympics spent about twice as much each as normal tourists do.

      Also remember that there were a large number of Olympic visitors who weren’t tourists – journalists, TV crews, etc.. They were there on business but they must have added to spending.

  • David Trant

    So the obvious solution keep the Olympic games going for ever-n-ever, hmmm so my own belief that the guy who does the employment figures is the same guy who does the figures for the rail franchises, isn’t credible then?

  • Daniel Maris

    The paucity of your analysis is breathtaking.

    I think what has been happening is that most of the 500,000 incomers (in one year) to this country have gone to live in London and the South East.

    That sort of influx is bound to lead to economic growth of a sort – but NOT per capita GDP growth.

    NIESR “estimates” are meaningless.

    • HooksLaw

      last years net migration was 216000. You have only speculation about how that is spread. Once again you twist facts to suit a prejudice.

      • Daniel Maris

        HooksLaw –

        Are you maintaining inward migration is evenly spread out across the UK and not concentrated in London and the South East? Why are house prices rising in London in the middle of a recession? Why are 75,000 new school places needed in London? If you have to build 75,000 new school places your local economy will be stimulated – doesn’t mean anyone will be better off in per capita terms.

        What prejudice am I supposed to have by the way?

        • HooksLaw

          London has and always will be a major population and econo0mic growth area. In the middle ages and later it was an even bigger centre of commercial activity. But when the govt propose measures like high speed rail links to the rest of the country in order to make it more practical to move out then people like you complain

          • Daniel Maris

            HooksLaw –

            You know nothing. London’s population declined dramatically between the mid 1950s and early 1970s. If you don’t know that you’re not qualified to give a credible opinion on this subject.

            I wouldn’t object to a high speed rail link specifically designed to link North and South – but that’s NOT what they are proposing.

Can't find your Web ID? Click here