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Economics

A construction boom and a lost opportunity

Along with all the stirring stuff about Olympics job creation, an Olympics boost to the economy, the Olympics transportation miracle comes the news in a 'government-commissioned report' that the Olympics created a construction boom from the building of venues and infrastructure.


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Treat with caution!

Alongside the claim of an Olympics boost to the economy, is the claim of an Olympics jobs boost. It is certainly the case that some temporary jobs will have been created during the summer, but it is entirely unclear how many and these claims have been made without any detailed supporting evidence. The Olympics was supposed to have helped reduce unemployment by some tens of thousands between March and May without any specific information as to what these jobs were long before the Games began and after construction had come to an end. Then again in the third quarter the same claims were made, this time for 100,000 Olympics jobs, once again without any specific evidence. Given that tens of thousands of Olympics jobs had already been claimed for the previous months one has to wonder what all these people were doing. According to the statistics 101,000 more people were in work in London during the summer so it seems all of these are simply credited to the Olympics! The other 'evidence' cited is a claim by the Games' organisers that the Olympics would create around 200,000 jobs, 70,000 of which would be volunteers, so these figures appear to have been swallowed whole as the basis for the jobs boost. Of course all sorts of claims for job creation have been made over the years, some of which have then been disowned by the same organisers who proclaimed them, while in other instances the organisers have been unable to provide any information in support of their projections.


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Olympicsboostsh*t

There is a concerted effort to suggest the Olympics has pulled Britain out of recession. But the BBC has provided an interesting perspective on this. The third quarter is expected to show a 0.7% rise in GDP. The second quarter included an extra bank holiday which knocked the economy by 0.5%, so this deficit was recouped in the third quarter. The remaining 0.2% is accounted for by ticket sales meaning that in reality 'excluding the Olympic and Jubilee effects, growth seems to have been broadly flat'. However, what is curious about this concoction is that, of course, ticket sales actually occurred months ago so could just as easily have been included in those earlier statistics. The fourth quarter is then expected to sink back into deficit.


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London Plays Games - Podcast

"Mega-events, such as the Olympic Games, have often been described as a preferred tool of place promotion and marketing and a primary connection between the local and the global. The Olympics are a global spectacle literally taking place in a single locale. Olympic Games are tightly interwoven into the urban economy and (re-)development schemes. They are also an increasingly important driver in the creation of new leisure and consumption spaces and the interests of international property firms. Like all mega-events, the Olympics are almost exclusively urban phenomena that require large public and private investments."


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Tourist numbers in London down 30%

David Cameron is giving upbeat press conferences about how well the Tube system is working despite the influx of 100,000 Olympic visitors. Transport for London say passenger numbers on the Tube on Monday were up 4%.


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Jonathan Stephens has got form

Jonathan Stephens, the permanent secretary at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), told a select committee that he would neither confirm nor deny his alleged role in allowing Adam Smith, Hunt's special adviser, to speak to James Murdoch's office. Later, the DCMS issued a statement saying Stephens was "content" with Smith's role.


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Public expenditure for private profit

This video arrives via Paul Norman's Olympic blog. On September 28 2011 he chaired a debate at the London Thames Gateway Development Corporation's annual meeting. He says:


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House Prices in Newham

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