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‘Two-Tier’ Job Creation Shows Need To Rebalance The Economy

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For every 12 jobs created in the South of England between 2004 and 2013, only one was created in cities throughout the rest of Great Britain, a new report reveals today.

Research from the Centre for Cities reveals how a widening gap between job creation in the South of England and the rest of the country is creating a ‘two-tier economy’.

Its shows that economic growth and the jobs market is largely being driven by a handful of cities, most of which are located in the South, while in other cities poor business growth and falling employment opportunities had led to their economic decline.

According to the research, the number of net jobs created in London increased by 17.1% between 2004 and 2013, while cities like Blackpool and Rochdale saw the number of employment opportunities contract by over 10%.

In Swindon strong economic growth helped to increase the number of businesses by 29%, while Grimsby lost 5.5% of its employers.

Centre for Cities says successive Government’s have failed to rebalance the national economy, so that households from across the country can equally reap the rewards of a supposedly strengthening jobs market and resurgent UK economy.

Government interventions and funding has either been too small or too costly to implement, says the report.

Knowledge-intensive businesses, and the increasing integration of technologies in workplaces, have benefitted the South but left other cities with a weaker business base from which to create new jobs.

Cities in the South of England are reaching new heights of prosperity following the global economic collapse, while most cities elsewhere in the UK are struggling to create jobs and drive growth.

Andrew Carter, Acting Chief Executive, Centre for Cities, said:

“Five months out from the Election, this report makes the strongest economic case yet for the next Government to step up to the challenge of investing in the long-term success of our cities, and build a brighter future in which more people and places can contribute to, and share in, prosperity and growth.

“The stark picture the report paints of the enormous gap in the fortunes of UK cities over 10 years underlines why a ‘steady as she goes’ approach must be scrapped.

“We must move from thinking that bundling up new funding streams with bureaucratic delays, or simply tinkering around the edges with well-intentioned announcements, will be enough to reverse trends that are becoming increasingly entrenched.”

“Cities need long-term funding and strategic planning, and policies that go to the heart of addressing the key drivers of economic growth – including transport, planning, skills and housing.

“This report throws down the gauntlet for all parties to turn their recent interest and pledges around cities and devolution into a clear plan to grow jobs and businesses, and improve quality of life throughout the United Kingdom.”

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