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Edited by Wolfgang Maennig and Andrew Zimbalist
Chapter 30: The Employment Effects of London 2012: An Assessment in Mid-2011
Dan Brown and Stefan Szymanski 1 INTRODUCTION In this chapter we investigate the employment effects of the London 2012 Olympics in the run-up to the Games. Employment levels at the Olympic site have been published by the Olympic Delivery Authority on a quarterly basis since September 2008. London’s bid for 2012 was notable for its emphasis on the legacy benefits of the Games and its impact on the surrounding areas. Therefore we review related and unrelated infrastructure projects that have occurred in the areas around the site, notably the five ‘host’ London boroughs (Greenwich, Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets, and Waltham Forest). Finally, we review overall employment trends at the level of the London boroughs over the past decade using data published by the Office of National Statistics (ONS). The legacy impacts of London 2012, in particular the regeneration of the Lower Lea Valley region, constituted a major argument in favour of London’s successful Olympic bid. London’s candidate file reads: ‘the most enduring legacy of the Olympics will be the regeneration of an entire community for the direct benefit of everyone who lives there’. If London 2012 is to make a real difference in the lives of those in its most deprived area, we should expect significant local employment effects. Indeed, London’s candidate file states: ‘The biggest economic legacy from the games will be the creation of wider employment opportunities and improvements in the education, skills and knowledge of the local labour force in an area of very high unemployment’. Thus...
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