Monday, 17 October 2011

New Supermarkets vs. Unemployment

Unemployment in Birmingham is a huge problem. As Paul Dale, Public Affairs Editor of The Birmingham Post, recently said on twitter "Unemployment rate in Brum 12.9 per cent. A human tragedy, and a disgrace."
And he’s not wrong. In the West Midlands alone, unemployment rose by 8,000 (to a total 234,000 people) between June and August this year. (
Therefore, the fact that the majority of the newly proposed supermarkets are claiming that they will be able to provide thousands of jobs has been a major argument in favour of them. In fact, when looking into their potential development, it is impossible to avoid seeing the huge numbers of jobs they claim they will be offering, pulling people out of unemployment. (See this link for an example -
However, a study has shown that supermarket creation was proven to actually decrease employment. The study, (found here, cites Association of Convenience Stores Chief Executive, James Lowman, explaining how “we know all too well the damage that can be done to high streets if the wrong supermarket is built in the wrong place. Local businesses often have to cut staff and some even are forced to close as a result of a new development nearby.” Therefore, the number of opportunities offered by supermarkets is completely negated by the amount of jobs lost when other businesses are overwhelmed.
Considering how big an issue unemployment is currently in Birmingham, the seemingly endless newly proposals of supermarkets/supermarket extensions the result could be catastrophic. More unemployment is absolutely the last thing we want.

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