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The government will create “digital jobs” and support the roll-out of high-speed broadband networks as part of a plan to fight the recession, the prime minister said yesterday.
Speaking to the Observer newspaper, Gordon Brown compared his government’s efforts to the US public infrastructure building programme of the 1930s that some credit with helping to end the Depression.
“You could [compare] the digital infrastructure and that form of communication revolution at a period when we want to stimulate the economy,” he told the paper.
Brown said jobs in “digital industries” would be a priority. However, 30,000 of the expected 100,000 jobs would be in construction companies hired to repair schools, the paper reported.
The Office of National Statistics’ latest labour report said the unemployment rate rose to 6%, or 1.86 million, in the quarter to October.
“The number of unemployed people, the unemployment rate and the claimant count have all increased,” it said.
In addition, more people of working age were “inactive”, and the number of vacancies had fallen to 562,000, the lowest since 2001, when records began.