North/South Divide…

North/South Divide…

The North/South divide is alive and well, despite the recent recovery in jobs, according to a new study by the TUC.

The report finds that the UK’s economic recovery is predominantly located in London and the South-East, while the North-East, the North-West, Wales and the South-West are missing out.

The TUC report shows that since the last General Election in 2010, there are 780,000 more people in work across the UK, with the likelihood of having increased by one percentage point.

In contrast, however, people’s chances of having a job have fallen in the West Midlands, which is down 0.8 percentage points and down by 0.7 percentage points in the North-West.

The West Midlands had the poorest long-term jobs record, according to the TUC, where employment rates were “barely any better” than they were 20 years ago, the report found.

“As employment growth strengthens at a national level, employment opportunities are being created in all parts of the UK. In the three months to October 2013, employment opportunities rose across the whole of Great Britain. Unemployment numbers dropped most in the East of England, the North West and in the West Midlands. Across the UK, there is a very positive employment outlook for the months ahead.”

TUC general secretary, Frances O’Grady, says: “We need more well-paid jobs, as well as better wage rises for those already in work, if the UK’s 30m-strong workforce is to get a fair share of the benefits of recovery.”

The TUC report comes ahead of new unemployment figures due out on Wednesday. December’s figures showed there were 2.39m unemployed people in the UK in the three months to October, down by 99,000 on the previous quarter.



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