Milton Keynes tops list of UK’s strongest employment growth

Half of the UK’s most improved city economies in the last decade, in terms of employment growth, are in the north, according to new research.

Milton Keynes heads the list of UK town and cities recording the strongest employment growth, according to a report published by thinktank, Centre for Cities, with Derby, Doncaster and Sunderland, in fourth, sixth and seventh place respectively.

However, employment rates for these cities is still considerably lower than the national average, pointing to a North-South divide. More than three in 10 of Sunderland’s working age population, for example, are not in employment – compared to a national average of 26%.

Dermot Finch, director of Centre for Cities said: “These figures show that it’s less ‘grim up north’. Cities like Warrington and Doncaster are on the up, but need to sustain this momentum over many years if they are going to catch up with the likes of York and Milton Keynes.

“Our biggest cities like Birmingham, Manchester and London are polarised within their own boundaries. They need to address the deep-rooted wealth inequalities on their own patch, by moving beyond constructing shiny new buildings, if they are to continue to grow,” Finch added.

Across the city regions:



  • Greater Manchester: 35% of Manchester’s working-age population are not in employment, compared to 20% in Stockport.

  • Greater Birmingham: In Birmingham 37% of the working age population are not in employment, compared to 21% in neighbouring Solihull.

  • Greater London: 47% of Tower Hamlet’s working-age residents are not in employment, compared to over 22% in Sutton.



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