Traffic on highway with cars.
From North to South, no community deserves to be abandoned
Where you are born should have no say on how your life pans out. But the reality of today’s Britain is different. Regional inequalities persist from birth to childhood, to working life and beyond.
The North / South divide is not a myth…
Your life is likely to be shorter if you’re from the North of England rather than the South.
More young adults are dying before their time in the North of England than in the South. And the gap is widening.
As a child, you’re twice as likely to live in a workless household in the North East than in if you grow up in the South East…
And when there are new jobs in the North East, two-thirds are insecure (e.g. agency, temporary, or zero hours).
In old industrial areas, at the median men earn around £200 less per month than the national level. And in these areas, the poorest-paid 10 per cent earn less than a third of median earnings across Britain as a whole.
Less than 1 in 3 (30.6 per cent) of residents in Yorkshire and the Humber are skilled at NVQ Level 4+, against 1 in 2 of all Londoners.
…But it’s not all roses in the South
There are 2 million union members in South East and East of England, many of whom are struggling. They’ll barely recognise any story that paints everyone South of the Watford Gap as being totally minted. This is where intra-regional differences are important to recognise. Inner London has continued to stride ahead in recent years, but the same can’t be said for other parts of the South:
Out of 21 NUTS 3 areas, in London, 10 had economic output lower than UK average in 2015.
Output in 13 London regions has fallen as a proportion of UK output since records began in 1997.
Outside of London, output across many areas has fallen or remained static. Certain Boroughs in the capital steam ahead as a share of UK output. Here is an example from Norfolk and Suffolk and London, using data for NUTS 2 (slightly bigger) regions:
Regional GVA as total of UK output, 1997 and 2015 (%)
Source: ONS Regional gross value added (income approach), December 2016
New approaches to regional industrial strategy
What is the TUC doing?
In the meantime, you can register for our free event: ‘Great Jobs in Great Places’, taking place on 23 October, where Greg Clark, Secretary of State for Business and TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady will give keynote speeches that reflect on the research findings. To sign up, click here.