Only one job is created up North for every 12 jobs in the South
For those of you concerned that London and its surrounding cities are sucking the life out of the rest of the country like an enormous wealth parasite, here's news that confirms it. According to a Centre for Cities report published today, only one job is created in the North for every twelve jobs that pop up in the South.
London and the cities around it exhibit all the signs of a region powering through the recession to greater economic stability and growth. Between 2004 and 2013, the population rose, more people took jobs and more jobs were created. Comparatively, population growth in Northern cities stagnated: Blackpool and Rochdale saw jobs fall by around 10%. In Sunderland, the population even decreased by 4,000.
That's an alarming disparity between North and South. Despite the Tories making bold promises to "build a Northern powerhouse that can take on the world", the gulf between the two regions is forcing Northerners – especially young people – to leave their hometowns and seek work in the capital and cities near it.
"There is a big movement of young professionals from the cities in the North to cities in the South, particularly London," said the report’s author Paul Swinney, chief economist of Centre for Cities. "That is a sign not only of the success Southern cities have had in creating jobs, but also the breadth of choice."
Milton Keynes, the manmade roundabout haven situated just outside London, is the fastest growing city in the country. Its population has increased by 16.4%, no doubt because it's close to (but not quite in London) – making it a convenient commuter district for people who can't otherwise afford to live in the capital.
Some say that the Tories are not doing enough to arrest the North's decline, with some calling for the construction of high-speed rail links and the devolution of powers from Whitehall to elected mayors who can speed up improvements in housing, town planning and transport.
However, some people don't think it's all that grim up North. Business leaders in Hull have criticised the think tank's findings, as the report only takes into consideration the years between 2004 and 2013. Over that time, 10,000 jobs were lost in Hull. They say that the jobs situation has improved since then.
"We might have had some bad luck in recent years," an MD of one energy shipping company told the Hull Daily Mail, "but we have a long list of positives yet to be felt, which will make this report look even more irrelevant than it already is in a relatively short period of time."
But even if things are looking up in Hull, it's still a pretty depressing outlook all over – especially if you're a young person from the North. So let's come clean: are you a Northerner who's moved down South, and are you planning to ever return?
Liked this? Check out these stories for more on the state of the nation: