Unemployment rises in Britain's seaside towns

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The Independent Online

The decision by millions of cash-strapped British holidaymakers to abandon a trip abroad in favour of a more frugal stay on home soil has failed to provide extra jobs in the country's struggling seaside towns, new figures reveal today.

Some coastal resorts have seen their unemployment rate more than double over the past 12 months, shattering hopes that the rise of the so-called "staycation" would provide a much needed boost for unemployed people in the areas.

The South appeared to be the hardest hit by stubbornly high unemployment rates, according to the analysis by the TUC. Bournemouth's unemployment rate rose by 130 per cent to 4 per cent last month, up from 1.8 per cent in July 2008. Unemployment in Weston-super-Mare rose by 122 per cent on last year's total. In the constituency of South Dorset, which contains the resorts of Weymouth and Swanage, the number of people out of work rose by 113 per cent. At Southend, Clacton-on-Sea and Margate unemployment rose by at least 70 per cent since last summer. The national rise was 81 per cent.

Brendan Barber, the general secretary of the TUC, said the report confirmed that any evidence of an economic recovery was "very shallow". He also said that public services should be safeguarded at all costs to nurse hard hit areas through the recession.

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