LabourTowns

LabourTowns

Sign up for more information and to support the Labour Towns think tank. TOWNS ARE THE BACK BONE OF BRITAIN, AND WE WANT OUR TOWNS TO GET A FAIR DEAL. THAT’S WHY LABOUR MPS, COUNCILLORS, PARTY MEMBERS ACROSS THE COUNTRY ARE COMING TOGETHEr to demAND AN END TO THE TORY AUSTERITY THAT IS WIDENING THE DIVIDE BETWEEN TOWNS AND CITIES, AND TO CHAMPION NEW IDEAS AND PLANS FROM LABOUR COUNCILS, COUNCILLORS AND MPS.

Keep in Touch

Evidence shows growing divide between towns and cities after 8 years of Tory austerity

Published: Friday 6 July 2018

  • Job and business growth in towns has been around half the rate as cities since 2010.

 

  • Economic growth under the Tories has been only two-thirds the rate in towns as in cities. 

 

  • The number of jobs in English town constituencies has grown by just 5% in 5 years compared to 11% in city constituencies.
  • The number of businesses in constituencies covering the top 30 English cities has grown by almost twice the rate as in constituencies covering towns and smaller cities since 2010.
  • The average annual rate of job growth is half as much in town constituencies as city constituencies. The average annual rate of growth of businesses in town constituencies is less than two-thirds the rate of city constituencies.
  • In the slowest recovery since the 1920s, towns have been even harder hit. The average annual economic growth rate in local authorities covering the top 30 English cities since 2011 has been 2.6% compared to 1.7% in the local authorities which cover small cities and towns. 
  • That means that in the first six years of Tory government cities experienced cumulative economic growth of 17% whilst towns experienced cumulative economic growth of 11%.

This analysis shows in stark terms the growing divide between towns and cities after eight years of Tory austerity. These are broad calculations and classifications as there are several different ways to classify councils and constituencies by city and town and each approach inevitably involves assumptions and generates anomalies.

 

Figures for economic growth are based on deflated GVA figures by local authority, with local authorities classified by city, town and rural. Figures for job growth are based on employment by workplace per constituency (via the Business Register and Employment Survey), figures for business growth are based on the number of registered businesses by constituency (via ONS), with constituencies classified by city, town and rural. These calculations only compare cities and towns and not rural areas.

 

The first calculations use the simplified version of the ONS RUC2011 classification of local authorities, which treats the conurbations around London, Birmingham, Greater Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds/Bradford, Newcastle/Gateshead, Sheffield/Rotherham and Nottingham as cities, and which groups smaller cities with towns.

 

The second calculations adjust the simplified ONS RUC2011 classification to separate adjoining towns from major cities (eg to separate Rotherham from Sheffield) and to ensure places like Bristol and Hull are included as cities rather than towns. That was done using a rough and ready approach using local authority boundaries and the ONS list of 112 distinct cities & towns. It treats the biggest 30 English cities as cities, the others as towns and sticks to the ONS RUC2011 classification of rural areas. The analysis above is based on this approach.

 

The third calculations are the same as the second but include the 20 biggest English cities as cities and the others as towns.

 

Each of these approaches shows broadly the same thing. That larger urban areas are growing faster than smaller ones. It shows the same pattern as research by Mark Muro in the US which found that the biggest American cities recovered much faster than towns after the recession.

 

Of course there are wide variations between towns and within cities. Any classification also generates some anomalies, and it would be possible to develop more detailed and accurate classifications.

 

Our findings are summarised below. The figures we have used appear in red.

Average annual rate of economic growth 2011-2016 (measured by deflated GVA, based on local authority data)

Source data: ONS, Regional gross value added (balanced) by local authority in the UK

 

Years

Classification

ONS RUC2011

RUC2011

30 CITIES

RUC2011

20 CITIES

2011-2016

City

2.5%

2.6%

2.7%

 

Town

1.8%

1.7%

1.7%

 

 

 

 

Average rate of annual business growth 2010-2017 (cumulative growth in number of businesses per constituency)

Source data: ONS, UK Business: Activity, Size and Location: 2017

 

Years

Classification

ONS RUC2011

RUC2011

30 CITIES

RUC2011

20 CITIES

2010-2017

City

5.4%

5.7%

5.8%

 

Town

3.4%

3.3%

3.4%

 

 

 

 

Average annual job growth 2010-2015 (growth in employees by workplace per constituency since 2010)

Source data: Business Register and Employment Survey, via NOMIS

 

Years

Classification

ONS RUC2011

RUC2011

30 CITIES

RUC2011

20 CITIES

2010-2015

City

2.0%

2.2%

2.3%

 

Town

1.1%

1.1%

1.1%

 

Cumulative job growth 2010-2015 (growth in employees by workplace per constituency since 2010)

Source data: Business Register and Employment Survey, via NOMIS

 

Years

Classification

ONS RUC2011

RUC2011

30 CITIES

RUC2011

20 CITIES

2010-2015

City

11%

11%

12%

 

Town

6%

5%

5%

 

Cumulative economic growth 2010-2016 (measured by deflated GVA, based on local authority data)

Source data: ONS, Regional gross value added (balanced) by local authority in the UK

 

Years

Classification

ONS RUC2011

RUC2011

30 CITIES

RUC2011

20 CITIES

2010-2016

City

16%

17%

17%

 

Town

11%

11%

11%

 

 

 


Showing 1 reaction

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.