Unemployment levels fell again last month across the country.
In York the number claiming job seekers allowance has fallen to 1.6% of the population. That is down from 2.10% in November last year.
A total of 2133 York residents were claiming Job seekers allowance last month. This figure is likely to increase in January as seasonal jobs come to an end.
The lowest ever unemployed numbers were recorded in 2004 when only 1.2% were looking for jobs.
The change reflects an improving economy. The trend in the City almost exactly mirrors the national picture.
Nationally unemployment has dropped by 0.8 percentage points over the last year.
In York the improvement has been less at 0.6 percentage points.
At the last York Council, meeting the Labour Leadership tried to claim that the change was due to their decision to borrow and spend a £28 million Economic Infrastructure Fund. The Fund was started early in 2012.
However, by that time. unemployment had fallen from a peak of 4134 to 3682; a trend that continued.
The only quick way for the public sector to create jobs quickly is – as Hitler and Mussolini demonstrated – by spending on public works (autobahns etc). Such a short term policy does increase the number of construction jobs for a time at least.
The only work of this kind announced by the Council is the so called “bridge to nowhere” at the York Central site. Work on this won’t start for another couple of years at least.
The rest has been squandered on a plethora of uncoordinated initiatives ranging from “free” public WiFi to arts barges and the like.
The only direct effect that the present Council could claim to have had on the local economy is the creation of around 100 apprentice posts at the Council. These post were more than outweighed by job losses incurred as public service standards were been slashed.
The legacy will of course be a huge increase in the debt burden of each resident living in the City.