TUC report says regional inequalities have increased since the recession

By agency reporter
July 6, 2015

Research published today (6 July) by the Trades Union Congress (TUC) has found that London is outperforming other parts of the UK in economic and jobs growth, while the economic recovery is weakest in the North West and Northern Ireland.

Using the most up-to-date figures available, the research analyses regional and national contributions to the UK’s economic and jobs growth since 2010.

From 2010 to 2013, the London economy grew more than one and a half times as fast (163 per cent) as the rate of the UK economy as a whole. By comparison, growth was only around half the national rate in Northern Ireland (49 per cent) and the North West (51 per cent).

From 2010 to 2014, jobs growth in London (11.5 per cent) was twice as fast as the UK as a whole (5.1 per cent), three times as fast the West Midlands (3.7 per cent) and South West (3.6 per cent), four times as fast as the North East (2.9 per cent) and Wales (2.7 per cent), and six times as fast as the North West (1.8 per cent).

In 2013 economic activity in London accounted for 22 per cent of the value of the entire UK economy, up from 21 per cent in 2010 and 19 per cent in 1997. In 2014 London accounted for 14.2 per cent of all UK jobs, compared to 13.5 per cent in 2010 and 12.4 per cent in 1997.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:“We need a recovery that works for the whole of the UK, but cuts to infrastructure and services have hit places that are most in need of investment. We now have an unbalanced recovery that is too weak outside of London, too dependent on families getting into debt, and too focused on jobs in low-paid service industries.

“UK regions won’t become powerhouses of growth and job creation unless they are powered-up by investment in skills, infrastructure and decent public services – but the Chancellor’s extreme cuts will mean pulling the plug.

“We need a better economic plan that prioritises balanced growth across the UK by targeting investment to communities that are most in need of modern infrastructure and more decent jobs.”

The TUC adds that despite London’s relatively positive performance, it is important that very wide inequalities within the region are not overlooked. For example, several London boroughs remain amongst the worst in the UK for child poverty rates.

It points out that the analysis shows the need for stronger, broader growth across the whole of the UK, which in turn will further support performance in London because of its economic links to other regions.

* TUC https://www.tuc.org.uk/

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