Liverpool among cities narrowing jobs growth gap on South

Liver building

Cities across the UK are seeing strong jobs growth and are catching up on the historic top-performers in the South, according to the latest Demos-PwC Good Growth for Cities Index.

While the highest ranked cities still tend to be mostly in the South, except for Edinburgh, the top 10 improvers in the 2017 index include Liverpool, Leeds, Newcastle, Birmingham and Derby, suggesting that the North and the Midlands are steadily narrowing the gap.

Only London and Southampton from the South are among the top 10 improvers relative to last year’s index.

John Hawksworth, chief economist at PwC, commented that: “The UK has been a great job-creating machine in recent years and this has driven improvement in our good growth index this year across all major UK cities.

“On average across the UK, the index is now at its highest level since it began in 2006 and all regions have benefited from this upturn.

“But there has also been a price to pay for this in terms of worsening housing affordability, increased average commuting times and more people having to work long hours.

“The cities that are highest ranked on the index also tend to suffer the highest price of success.”

Published today (November 8) the sixth annual Good Growth for Cities 2017 index sets out to show that there’s more to life, work and general well-being than GDP.

The index measures the performance of 42 of the UK’s largest cities, England’s Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and the new combined authorities against a basket of 10 indicators based on the views of the public as to what is key to economic success and wellbeing.

These include employment, health, income and skills – the most important factors, as judged by the public – while housing affordability, commuting times, environmental factors and income inequality are also included, as is the number of new business starts.

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