"There are plenty of jobs for those who want it. Just go out there find it and work hard"
The wise words of a Mr Thomas Hablin from Romford (25 years old, as if that matters). If wise, of course, means "lazy, unfounded and utterly ridiculous".
Thomas speaks in the way that the Conservatives of this country would like us to all think, that those not in work are only there by choice, that it is a workshy nature of the public that causes our current economic woes.
I call bullshit.
For a start, let's see how many people are unemployed in Romford.
According to the data compiled by the Guardian's data blog, in May of this year around 2100 people were unemployed, with men outnumbering women unemployed around 2:1.
This isn't a problem though as, according to Mr Hablin, who works for the council (and therefore should know better), there are PLENTY of jobs....
Total Jobs lists, within a 5 mile radius of the center of Romford, a grand total of 368 jobs (at the time of writing, 26th June 2012). Some of these will be duplicates, but at best we can say that there are more than 5 people for every job going in the area.
EXCEPT...the area also covers Dagenham and Rainham (3,500 unemployed), Erith and Thamesmead (3,500 unemployed), Hornchurch and Upminster (2,200 unemployed), Illford (6,200 unemployed), Barking (4,700 unemployed) as well as part of Brentwood (1,200 unemployed) and Bexleyheath (1,800 unemployed).
So, in fact there are around 25,200 people going for those 368 jobs, over 68 people for every job going. Before anyone gets all "pointy fact nazi" on me, I do know that those 25 thousand people could well also look for jobs in their own area which doesn't overlap with my search. However if I do extend my search further to 20 miles from Romford, I still only manage to find some 10,000 jobs while simultaneously pushing the job search area over the center of London in to West London, and south past Croydon...so let's not split hairs over just how few jobs there are directly accessible to individuals near to where they live, let alone further afield.
Anyway, I'm glad we now know the new definition of "Plenty" in Tory britain.
Let's stop pretending we've got an attitude problem in this country instead of a jobs problem. There are fundamentally not enough jobs for people to apply for, and even if they can find the vacancies, the chance of them being correctly qualified, with the right experience, is slim.
The reality is that our jobs market is serving a few elite people, and that the jobs are probably around only because of a skills shortage in this country (that the Government is trying it's hardest to retain through discouraging immigration) for the specific jobs in hand. Meanwhile thousands upon thousands of people in every area of the country are fighting it out over jobs that they can be fired from without fair reason, on a wage that makes it hard to afford your rent, facing the prospect of having the housing benefit that might give them room to breathe stripped away from them.
But it's ok because as jobs dwindle, they will, like a phoenix, rise again in the form of unpaid "work placements" that those unemployed souls can be forced on to. Let's look on the bright side, everyone will find there way in to work soon enough, they just probably won't be paid for it.