EDINBURGH is second only to London for job growth in the UK’s public and private sectors, an economic survey has shown.
Aberdeen also made it into the UK top ten, rated eighth out of 63 major cities, but Glasgow, was 62nd, having lost both 7,800 private sector and 6,800 public jobs, a net drop of 3.7 per cent.
The Cities Outlook 2014 report, an annual economic ‘health check’ of UK cities, published today shows London accounted for 80 per cent of national private sector jobs growth between 2010 and 2012.
Researchers have warned the economic gap between London and the rest of the country is widening as the country emerges from recession. The report also flags up that, while most other cities are cutting the public sector, London has seen strong growth in that area too.
The figures show that for every one public sector job created in London, two have been lost in other cities across the country. Edinburgh was shown to have created 23,100 private sector jobs but 3,300 in the public sector had been lost, representing a net increase of 6.5 per cent.
Though it had a lower rise in net job growth of 5.8 per cent, London, during the same period, created 216,700 private and 66,300 public sector jobs.
London’s public sector jobs growth was driven by increases in education and health.
Aberdeen was ranked eighth – with 4,900 new jobs in the private sector – but lost 1,100 in the public sector, representing a net increase of 2.2 per cent.
The economic think-tank Centre for Cities, which commissioned the survey, said while London remained the UK’s “economic powerhouse”, many other cities were “not realising their economic potential”.
Alexandra Jones, chief executive of Centre for Cities said: “Cities Outlook 2014 shows that the gap between London and other UK cities is widening and we are failing to make the most of cities’ economic potential.”
She added that this would only happen if there was a “radical devolution of the kinds of powers and freedoms currently afforded to London”. Cllr Frank Ross, Edinburgh City Council’s convener of the economy committee, said: “This is further evidence Edinburgh remains the most prosperous UK city outside London and Edinburgh comes out top for private sector jobs growth.
“Although smaller in scale, Edinburgh has many of the same attributes as London – strong international links, a number of world-leading sectors, and the city is also a magnet for tourists.”
However, a spokesman for Glasgow City Council said: “We fundamentally disagree with this report – the latest Office for National Statistics report shows Glasgow’s economy is performing very well despite the current economic conditions.”
A Scottish Government spokeswoman said the report was “further evidence Scotland has strong economic foundations and can more than succeed as an independent country”.
She said that only with independence would Scotland be able to provide a real counterbalance to London.