Tagged: Alexandra Jones

Sunderland among worst cities for insecure jobs and poor pay

Sunderland is one of the worst cities in the country for the proportion of people in insecure, low-paid jobs, according to a new report.

The Centre for Cities study, supported by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, maps changes in the UK’s labour market between 2001 and 2011, and charts pay rates across the country.

It shows more than a third of Wearside workers are in a low-paid job – classed as earning less than two-thirds of the national average.

The city did see a shift towards more high-paying posts in the decade to 2011 and retains a substantial share of intermediate jobs compared to other cities, thanks to the presence of Nissan and its supply chain.

There’s no doubt low-paying jobs have always existed, and some UK cities continue to see significant growth in high-paid jobs,” said Centre for Cities chief executive Alexandra Jones.

But what has changed over the past few decades is that, in many cities, the pathways to upward mobility have been severely eroded, as their jobs markets polarise and the stable jobs of the ‘middle’ begin to slip away.”

Politicians had put too much emphasis on the number of people in work without paying sufficient attention to the quality of the jobs that were being created.

For far too long, successive governments have focused on the number, not the quality of jobs being created – but the trend towards low-paying, insecure employment is bad for workers, bad for cities, and bad for the national economy,” she said.

Lack of opportunities for worker progression threatens to trap workers in poverty cycles from which they, and their cities, cannot escape.”

The report recommends giving cities more flexibility over funding to help them support new and existing businesses, and letting the Low Pay Commission work with cities that have a strong case for introducing a local minimum wage.

Also, giving cities greater regulatory and borrowing powers to help them to reduce housing, transport and childcare costs, raising living standards for workers in low-pay occupations.

Source –  Sunderland Echo,  05 Sept 2014

Sunderland has lowest number of businesses of any UK city

Sunderland has the lowest number of businesses out of any city in the UK, according to the latest report from think tank Centre for Cities.

Authors of the annual ‘health check’ of UK cities for 2014 also found Sunderland had the slowest-growing population, and was second bottom for business start ups.

The central spine of the report was the trend which showed the economic gap is widening between London and other cities.

Highlighting Sunderland, the report’s authors also listed Newcastle and Middlesbrough in the bottom ten cities for businesses in the UK.

The report also found there almost 10 times more jobs being created in the capital than the next best area.

Centre for Cities research revealed that London accounted for 80 per cent of national private sector employment growth between 2010 and 2012.

For every public sector job created in the capital, two have been lost in other cities, the study found.

While London is “booming”, cities such as Bradford, Blackpool and Glasgow have seen jobs lost in private and public sectors, said the report.

There has also been a significant number of jobs created in private firms in Edinburgh, Birmingham and Liverpool which have helped offset the impact of public sector job cuts.

In the two years to 2012 there were 216,000 private sector and 66,300 public sector jobs created in London, compared with losses of 7,800 and 6,800 in Glasgow, said Centre for Cities.

Other cities where jobs have been created in private companies included Nottingham (8,900), Brighton (6,400) and Aberdeen (4,900), but they were all hit by cuts in public sector employment.

The report said: “London remains the UK’s economic power house and is pivotal to the UK’s future success.”

Alexandra Jones, chief executive of Centre for Cities, said: “The gap between London and other UK cities is widening and we are failing to make the most of cities’ economic potential.

“Devolving more funding and powers to UK cities so they can generate more of their own income and play to their different strengths will be critical to ensuring this is a sustainable, job-rich recovery.”

Sunderland Echo, 27 January 2014