Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Olympics Effect Works Wonders

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Olympics Effect Works Wonders

Article excerpt

Byline: Joe Murphy and Jonathan Prynn

THE "Olympic effect" has given a huge boost to the London economy with 50,000 jobless taken off the dole queues, official figures reveal today.

The capital's unemployment total fell 1.2 per cent to 8.9 per cent in the three months to May as the construction and preparation of the Olympic sites neared completion.

Projects such as Crossrail and the Shard, the opening of the new Westfield shopping centre at Stratford as well as extra tourism generated by the Diamond Jubilee and the Games have also helped London's economy pull strongly out of recession.

Economists said more than three quarters of the UK's 65,000 fall in unemployment during the quarter -- to 2.58 million -- happened in London, underlining the capital's importance as a national job creating powerhouse.

The national total is the lowest for almost a year, despite the country falling into a double-dip recession.

Scott Corfe, senior economist at the Centre for Economics and Business Research, said: "These figures are likely to reflect the greater resilience and dynamism of London's private sector compared with the rest of the UK."

Sir Edward Lister, the Mayor's chief of staff and deputy mayor for planning, said: "These are the best figures we've had for quite a while, it is beginning to feel a bit better.

"There is a London factor to this but if London moves the rest of the country moves." An expert at the Office for National Statistics said: "There's some evidence to suggest Continued on Page 8

Continued from Page 1 an 'Olympic effect' in London because there is a slightly more positive picture than in other regions." John Burton, development director for Westfield in London said the Stratford development had created 10,000 jobs with another 1,000 generated by the Olympics.

Colin Stanbridge, chief executive of the London Chamber of Commerce, said: "Since the turn of the year we've seen the confidence of London businesses growing and this is reflected in these positive figures. It is now important that we make sure that the Olympics bring their full economic benefit and a lasting jobs legacy. …

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