B49: Adopting New Approaches to Complex Issues: Worklessness and the Cities Strategy

18th May 2007.

When reading and analysing any Government publication on the issue of the economy and employment you cannot fail to notice the positive tones. The key messages portrayed are that the economy is booming, sustained economic growth is at its highest levels and employment levels are on the increase. Similarly, the economy is being boosted by enhanced skills levels; increasing levels of productivity; and increased innovation and enterprise.

However, this positive picture is often masked by a complex reality in the most deprived areas, many of which are located in our major towns and cities. Within these areas there are significant economic inequalities, histories of long-term unemployment and a stagnant population of workless and long-term benefit claimant individuals, families and communities.

The purpose of this bulletin is fourfold:

  • It looks at the key aims of the Government’s employment strategy;
  • It assesses the extent of worklessness in the UK and its impact on local economies;
  • It introduces the principles of the Cities Strategy;
  • It provides two case studies of how local areas have adopted approaches to the Cities Strategy.