Regional disparity in public sector jobs austerity impact

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The North West has lost public sector jobs at more than three times the rate of London, according to new government figures published this week by the Office of National Statistics (ONS).

The figures show that in the last Parliament between 2010 and 2015 public sector employment in north-west England fell by 9.4 percent. Over the same period public sector employment fell by 3 percent in London and by 2.5 per cent in the South East.

The TUC says the findings highlight how austerity has had an unequal impact on UK regions. The North West has lost 61,000 public sector jobs since 2010.

“While public services across Britain are under pressure from extreme cuts, it’s clear from these figures that the North West has been hit very hard by austerity,” said TUC North West Regional Secretary Lynn Collins.

“The North West has suffered a higher rate of public sector jobs losses than most of the country. By contrast, more prosperous parts of the UK have seen public sector employment fall at a much slower rate.

The East Midlands has also been affected by cuts, as public sector jobs have been lost at twice the rate of London. Figures show that between 2010 and 2015 public sector employment in the East Midlands fell by 7.2 per cent.

In their manifesto and as part of the Queen’s Speech at the start of the new Parliament only a few weeks ago, the Conservatives laid out plans to create an economic ‘northern powerhouse’ to ensure that economic growth was not restricted to London and the South East.

“The Chancellor’s promise of creating a northern powerhouse will feel like empty rhetoric to many in the North West. Devolving power to the regions will fail if they are starved of the vital public investment they need for modern infrastructure and services, ” said Collins.

“With even more severe spending cuts around the corner, the strain on services and communities is only going to get worse.”

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