On the day when the unemployment figures surpass those of any time since “things could only get better”, the BBC have found the perfect story to fill the space and relegate jobs to a lower position on their UK news webpage: racism in Belfast. Normally this would be somewhere tucked into the N. Ireland backwater pages, but somehow this time it’s really critical.
What was fascinating, as I took a glance at the ONS June update on employment was a rather startling figure concerning employment of “British borns” versus overseas workers. I don’t pretend to be able to contextualise this thoroughly, but it does bring perspective on the Romanians in Belfast story. Here goes:
“The number of UK born people in employment (not seasonally adjusted) was 25.28 million in the three months to March 2009, down 451,000 from the three months to March 2008. The number of non-UK born people in employment (not seasonally adjusted) was 3.81 million, up 129,000 fromthe three months to March 2008.”
Needless to say, this was not in the BBC report on the jobs news, which was stuffed with “not as bad as expected” voices.