I’m so skint right now I may as well dye my hair ginger and call myself a Weasley. Jobs are few and far between and although unemployment rates have dropped, the North West (for which I am cursed to live in) still has the highest unemployment rate outside of London.
My summer is becoming just as dismal as the northern weather; as though somehow the grey skies and rain are mocking me daily. My social life has become almost non existent as I have little money to spare. Thankfully I am female and can minesweep my way around town, batting my eyelashes for free drinks in a somewhat pathetic attempt at retaining my sanity. I couldn’t possibly take another evening socialising within the restraints of my parents company as they talk to me about their working week, sipping from a glass of mid priced red wine, Tv on for background noise.
Like most, my parents spare a tenner here and there when they can but with student loans ceasing for the summer I am destined to walk the lonely streets of my northern town handing out CVs to managers who have no jobs to offer. Maybe I should have budgeted better, spent less on alcohol, attended fewer parties and saved some well needed pennies for the holidays but forward thinking was never my strong point and like Wilde I have never really enjoyed living within my means.
As another “we’re sorry but your application hasn’t been successful this time” email appears in my inbox I wonder just who are these people who have secured jobs, pushing the unemployment rate down for the first time in years? Are they far more qualified than I am? Prepared to take on work that I would never dream off? And then ofcourse I remember…the Olympics. Yes yes, the Olympics has come to town and benefited us Brits with a surge of job vacancies. More than 100,000 people will gain paid employment during the Olympic period in vacancies such as ticketing, IT and cleaning and the PM reckons that the Games will bring in an extra thirteen billion pounds to the economy over a four year period. But let’s not take anything Mr Cameron says without a hefty pinch of salt. Whilst promises of an economic boost and perhaps a few gold medals just for good measure sounds fine and dandy, unfortunately as ever the story is its still very much Grim up North.
There are currently 329,000 jobless people in the North West. I can’t even count that high but what I do know is that it’s a big number and although the countries unemployment rate is dropping experts warn it is likely to be temporary drop. “The Olympic Effect”. In essence money generated by the Olympic games will benefit big businesses and not the average Joe. McDonald’s and Coca-Cola are among those companies rumoured to be benefiting from a tax break as a thank you for their financial support during the games. But when the circus…ahem…Olympics leaves town what will happen to all those jobs? Whilst McDonald’s and Coca-Cola will enjoy long term benefits, Mr Average who gained employment during the games will be once again unemployed, and with his falling income will come rising unemployment statistics. The Olympics may have provided a temporary mask for Britain’s economic weaknesses but David Prentis, the general secretary of Unison warns that, “The number of the long-term unemployed is still rising, and huge numbers of women and young people are still struggling to find work.”
As a middle class gal this being skint malarkey isn’t too much fun. I need a job, I need some money, I need to get out more and enjoy my summer. Whilst working at the Games would be fun, an experience, something to put on a CV inevitably the Olympics pack up and leave, and the currently employed become the soon to be unemployed. Come September, if experts are indeed correct, the job market will become even more ferocious as more people are made jobless. Why does everything these days cost an arm and a leg? Why am I no longer content to fritter away my time on things that cost nothing. Zilch. Zero amounts of pounds? I guess I’ll have to occupy my time watching the Games on TV. That’s free at least…
Oh dear lord bring me my September.