Monday, 23 January 2012

Fair to middle for Manchester in cities outlook for 2012

The 2012 edition of the centre for cities report is out this morning and it makes some grim reading for some especially in the North Of England.

The report concludes that economic disparities among Britain’s cities are widening as they feel the impact of the downturn and that there are widening gaps in population, employment rates, private sector jobs and business start-ups between cities, and a continuing divide in skills and innovation. Many struggling conurbations are in northern England and the Midlands.

The report identifies the fact that the most troubled neighbourhood in Rochdale has six times more claimants than the most troubled neighbourhood in Cambridge whereas in February 2008, the gap in the claimant count rate between Hull which was then at the bottom of the scale and Cambridge at the top was 3.2 percentage points.

According to the report,as cities respond to the challenges of high unemployment, a declining public sector and a reduction in real wages, those that bucked the trend and performed well against the odds, such as Edinburgh, Cambridge and London, have common traits. They have strong private sectors, high numbers of skilled residents and large numbers of ‘knowledge workers’ ie people who work in professions like accountancy, law and finance.

For Manchester where you can see the full report here,the report can probably best be described as middling.

Most strikingly perhaps is the figure on real wages which fell seven per cent from 2010 and are ranked 57th of the 64 cities in the report and in welfare cuts per capita which are forecast to fall by £167 per capita by 2015,ranking Greater Manchester 53rd.

There are some good figures as well.The city is 18th in the league for knowledge intensive jobs and is ranked fourteenth for business start ups.

As for its record on the environment,the city stands 37th with 6.2 CO2 emissions per 10,000 people

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