Recovery unevenly spread in UK, says Centre for Cities

Jobcentre Plus window Hull, Doncaster and Northampton have seen falls in the numbers claiming unemployment benefit

Economic recovery will be "unevenly spread" across the country with some cities needing extra government help to create jobs, a study has suggested.

Research group Centre for Cities said places such as Hull, Doncaster and Northampton were now "bouncing back".

But Sunderland, Liverpool, Birkenhead, Swansea and Newport might not feel the full benefits for some time.

Centre for Cities said areas more reliant on public sector jobs would have the most difficulties.

Financial support

Milton Keynes, Reading, Aberdeen, Leeds and Bristol were regarded as being better insulated from the effects of the government spending cuts, with the potential to create private sector jobs.

Hull, Doncaster and Northampton - some of the cities hardest hit by job losses - all saw falls of 1.2% in the number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance in the past year. That was more than twice the UK average, the report said.

The study found that more than one in three jobs in private companies were provided in 11 cities - London, Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield.

However, the cities "vulnerable" to spending cuts would need extra financial support and a "realistic" local plan of action, the group said.

Employment balance

Centre for Cities chief executive Alexandra Jones said: "Buoyant cities like Leeds and Bristol, which have been fast-growing and have lots of private sector jobs, are best placed to lead the UK's recovery.

"It's time these places had new financial freedoms such as full control over the local business rate, and new powers to raise money. They could also benefit from having London-style mayors.

"During 2011, the UK cities most dependent on the public sector, and which have seen slower economic growth over the last decade, will find it more difficult to rebalance towards the private sector.

"These cities will need realistic plans of action to ride out the spending cuts and create jobs - but they will also need additional financial support from central government."

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