2012 is likely to be another difficult year for Greater Manchester, with unemployment remaining high and household incomes being squeezed as a result of high inflation.
That is according to the latest edition of the Manchester Monitor, which provides an analytical snapshot of the economic wellbeing of Greater Manchester.
The report says that the key test for long-term economic recovery will be job creation and the hope is that new jobs will begin to emerge as the region realises some of the hard work invested into various projects this year such as the enterprise zone at Airport City.
Figures also show that average rents for 3 and 4-bed houses in Greater Manchester declined on an annual basis (5.2% and 7.6% respectively).
However, this is offset by an overall decline in available property to rent, due to a subdued housing market forcing potential buyers into renting instead.
The report also highlights the continuing increase in unemployment, whilst Greater Manchester’s number of Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) claimants picked up slightly on a monthly basis, the figure of 82,000 recorded in October 2011 represents an annual rise of 9,800 (13.5%).
There is also the added issue of falling real wages for those who are in employment, with household incomes becoming increasingly squeezed as a result of high inflation.
Dr Alexander Roy, Head of Research at New Economy, said: “Whilst there is some good news this month, December’s Manchester Monitor has little festive cheer. 2012 is going to be a very testing year and the critical test to Manchester’s economic recovery will of course be job creation.
“We are hopeful that new jobs will begin to emerge as Manchester realises some of the hard work invested into various projects this year such as the enterprise zone at Airport City. The announcement in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement which supported a number of infrastructure projects in the city, from transport to superfast broadband for ‘super-connected cities’, is also welcome news. With additional money being announced for the Regional Growth Fund it is now vital that investments such as this are translated into job opportunities in GM to drive forward long-term economic growth.”