Impact of recession examined

by Roxanne Blakelock The council has put out a report on the recession highlighting the borough s problems and what needs to be done. The report comments on Brent s state of unemployment, qualifications and benefit claims. Brent has one o

by Roxanne Blakelock

The council has put out a report on the recession highlighting the borough's problems and what needs to be done.

The report comments on Brent's state of unemployment, qualifications and benefit claims.

Brent has one of the lowest average incomes compared to the rest of London, ranking only behind Newham, Barking and Dagenham, and Waltham Forest.


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Cllr Paul Lorber, council leader, said: "We asked for this report to try and gauge what impact the recession may have in Brent.

"We are keen not to make snap judgements; rather we wanted to understand what's actually happening in the borough and how people are being affected."

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Despite growing unemployment nationwide, this decrease in jobs has not been seen in Brent.

In fact, the latest employment figures actually show a marked improvement in Brent.

Brent has more people employed in wholesale and retail than the national average, at 22 per cent of its total working population.

Cllr Lorber said: "This is a recession like no other, with different segments of society affected differently. In order that the council's resources are best used, we need to know where the pressure points really are.

"We are resolved to do what we can to help residents and businesses through this difficult period in the most adult, responsible way we can."

Brent has always had a higher Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) claimant rate than the London average.

However, it has increased at a lower rate during the recession than both London and the UK overall.

All west London boroughs have seen an increase in JSA claimants between December 2007 and December 2008, but Brent saw the smallest increase.

Brent ranks sixth from the bottom within London on its residents' skills and qualifications score, and is 10 per cent below the London average for top level qualifications (NVQ4 and above).

roxanne.blakelock@archant.co.uk

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