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Fears jobs cannot keep up with population growth

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: October 08, 2012

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FEARS are growing that future job creation will not come close to keeping pace with population growth.

Figures have revealed the number of new jobs in Cheltenham and Tewkesbury boroughs and Gloucester City increased by only 5,000 in 20 years. And with the population continuing to grow, a tough economic climate, and more than 10,000 people unemployed in the county, serious doubts have been raised about the future.

Cheltenham Borough Council leader Steve Jordan said: "One of the points I have been raising is that for the last 20 years, between 1991 and 2011, there has been an increase of 5,000 jobs in the area. The figures from the Joint Core Strategy suggest 27,000 jobs will be needed in the next 20 years, which would be an increase of 600 per cent."

A meeting of Tewkesbury Borough Council heard that the number of jobs needed could be between 15,500 and 27,000, depending on two different projections made by separate groups of analysts.

Even if the lesser amount turns out to be correct, it would mean the three areas would still need to generate more than three times the number of jobs created in the last 20 years.

Councillor Jim Mason (C, Winchcombe) said: "Where are these jobs coming from? We've already got a considerable number of unemployed people in Gloucestershire."

Also concerned was Councillor Brian Calway (C, Tewkesbury Prior's Park), who told a JCS representative: "You're assuming there will be economic growth but because of the recession, that has to be questioned."

The latest figures, published in September, showed unemployment had risen in the county for the first time in six months with 10,310 claiming JobSeekers' Allowance.

There were 2,377 unemployed people in Cheltenham, 1,138 in Tewkesbury and 3,190 in Gloucester. There were 762 in the Cotswolds, 1,364 in the Forest of Dean and 1,479 in Stroud.

Chris Dee, of the Gloucestershire economic partnership GFirst, said Gloucestershire's Local Enterprise Partnership would work to "provide an informed economic view over the next few months".

The Joint Core Strategy is looking at housing development for the three areas up to 2031. The total population for the three areas in 1991 was 275,423. Now, it is up to 319,300 and figures presented to the JCS team suggest that the total could increase by up to a further 44,700 by 2031.

OPINION, P8

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  • Ms_Superstar  |  October 09 2012, 12:59AM

    Just as some people will need jobs, so some will create jobs. As long as the number of jobs created roughly matches the number willing and able to work, there's no problem. Steve Jordan should stop fretting so much.

  • Bonkim2003  |  October 08 2012, 10:52PM

    Competition is across the globe - and unless we opt out of international trade (which by the way supports our imports as UK is 73% dependent) altogether - just have to become lean and thin. The world outside does not owe us anything and building a wall will not solve the dependency problem.

  • QuitTheEU  |  October 08 2012, 8:52PM

    Finally leading figures seem to be voicing concern over the impact of mass uncontrolled, free for all immigration. Its taken them 12 years to realise that flooding a small island with an extra five million people is going to put untold, irrepairable strain on all aspects of modern day life. Availability of jobs, school places, council housing, water supply levels and crippled NHS budgets. As a by-product of too many people chasing too few jobs you will also see a downslide in wages and working conditions plus an increase in temporary contracts replacing full-time permanent positions. Britain, thus, will continue its slide down both the economic league table and the basic living standards table. Labour began this in 2000 and Europe endorsed it with its hated Human Rights Act and its Freedom of Movement legislation. Labour has since admitted it was wrong on its immigration policy but the damage it has caused will last forever.

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  • Coingrass  |  October 08 2012, 8:31PM

    The figure of only 5,000 new jobs created in the last 20 years is highly suspect, especially since the population increased by nearly 44,000 to 319,300 in the same period. That works out at less than one job per year per 1,250 head of population. If this ratio was extrapolated across the UK then in the whole country only 50,000 new jobs would be created each year yet the true figure is nearer ten times this number. Something just doesn't add up.

    |   3
  • SandraPee  |  October 08 2012, 4:46PM

    There needs to be proper full time , liveable waged jobs created , not the 8 or 16 hour ones . We're fast becoming a nation of part time workers. SpudO is right , not all those out of work are scroungers .

    |   2
  • SELINA30  |  October 08 2012, 2:10PM

    The words "job creation" are not in George Osbournes dictionary.

  • badger12  |  October 08 2012, 11:30AM

    Brilliant! Let's plan for recession! We're not going to be in it for 20 years.

    |   -3
  • Spud0  |  October 08 2012, 11:23AM

    They should be reducing the retirement age not increasing it as they have done. Whilst thinking about the unemployment figures above I hope readers who have been knocking those on benefits as scroungers will realise it could them or their family out of work soon and on benefits!

    |   12
  • HelenCW  |  October 08 2012, 10:25AM

    Apparently on TV last night ,Infrastructure in the UK is at an abundance,then why can't those MP's from Gloucestershire start pushing for some infrastructure work to our counties instead of London. I have just moved from outer London/Surrey and no more space is available in London anymore. I have to commute daily to work across the river Severn,another Bridge would be fantastic instead of me going all the way down to Chepstow from the Forest Of Dean to Oldbury, Bristol. Give more jobs to those in the Gloucestershire area and get Construction moving so the economy can move....EASY!!!!

    |   10
  • Bonkim2003  |  October 08 2012, 10:22AM

    No Brainer! The world out there is harsh and does not owe anyone anything.

    |   -3

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