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London dominates UK jobs growth over the last decade

BBC Shared Data Unit analysis reveals one in three new jobs created in the UK over the past decade has been London-based

The BBC’s Shared Data Unit analysed official labour market figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) from 2007-2017 and the results showed:

London’s job creation rate outstrips its high population growth. Of the 2.7 million new jobs, almost 950,000, or 35%, were created in the capital

  • The north-east of England saw the lowest percentage increase in new jobs of any UK region or nation, along with the lowest population increase
  • Over half of jobs in London and the South East are now classed as skilled professional occupations
  • In the north-east of England and Northern Ireland, the proportion of skilled professional jobs drops to 39% and 36% respectively

Total employment in the UK has risen steadily over the last decade, with an average of 32 million people in work in 2017.

“What is more important than ever is access to knowledge, skills, ideas and high-skilled workers and London has that in abundance,” said Naomi Clayton, policy and research manager at the Centre for Cities think tank.

“It relates to the story of the North-South divide and London versus the Rest, which has been around a very long time. If anything, given the structural changes taking place in the economy in terms of globalisation and automation, those forces are working to widen the divide.”

Tony Wilson, director of the Institute of Employment Studies, described London as a “jobs machine”.

“The areas of the economy in which London has been historically strong are areas which have seen very strong growth in the last decade,” he said.

“The UK is even more of a services-based economy now than it was 10 years ago. Regions which have been more reliant upon non-service sectors – such as manufacturing or construction – have done relatively less well.”

Total unemployment fell in August to 1.36 million – a rate of 4% and the lowest figure for more than 40 years.


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