Recession hits former manufacturing centres hardest

Birmingham, Leeds and Glasgow have suffered the most from rising unemployment during the recession, an analysis of the number of unemployment benefits claimants has found.

Research by think tank The Work Foundation, out today, has revealed that those cities linked with traditional manufacturing and heavy industry in the North, West Midlands and Scotland have experienced the biggest jumps in the numbers claiming the jobseeker’s allowance.

Birmingham reported 45,657 claimants in February 2009, a jump of 12,383 year-on-year. The number of people claiming benefits shot up by 8,930 in Leeds to 21,558, and in Glasgow 5,873 more people claimed in February, taking the year’s total to 20,276.

The analysis suggests the recession has hit large cities outside London hardest.

Naomi Clayton, senior researcher at The Work Foundation, said: “Places in the eye of the storm as job losses mount are the UK’s core cities and areas associated with traditional manufacturing – places which in many cases had yet to recover fully from previous recessions before this one set in.”

Clayton called on the government to ensure next week’s budget supports the cities most affected by the economic downturn.

In the year to February 2009 the 10 cities with the largest jump in jobseeker’s allowance claimants are:

  • Birmingham, up by 12,383
  • Leeds, up by 8,930
  • Glasgow City, up by 5,873
  • Sheffield, up by 5,554
  • Kingston upon Hull, up by 5,304
  • Manchester, up by 5,233
  • Bradford, up by 5,079
  • Kirklees, up by 4,980
  • Liverpool, up by 4,847
  • Bristol, up by 4,714

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