North East locations ‘hardest hit’

The North East’s most deprived areas have been hardest hit by the recession, according to a report.

The report, called The Impact of the Recession on the Northern City Regions, by the Northern office of the Institute for Public Policy Research (ippr) think tank, shows that areas which suffered the highest unemployment rates in March last year have experienced the biggest increase in unemployment since then.

It claims the North East is in danger of being trapped in a vicious circle, as regeneration schemes are delayed at the same time manufacturing jobs are lost, in turn creating more deprivation.

The report states that the Tees Valley has had one of the biggest increases in unemployment in the country since the start of the recession.

It argues the most deprived areas have an above-average reliance on manufacturing jobs that are the most vulnerable to low-cost competition from abroad.

Unemployment was already high in these areas because companies were closing and cutting costs as a result of such competition, but the recession has accelerated the process.

Ed Cox, director of ippr North, said: “Further steps must be taken to ensure that the North’s old dependencies on low value-added manufacture and public sector employment are broken.

“If this is to be achieved, the Northern regions must attract the jobs of the future in areas such as green and creative technologies.

“And to make a real impact on deprivation, efforts should be clearly targeted at areas of most stubborn deprivation like Hull, Liverpool and South Teesside, which have the highest unemployment rates within the northern city regions.”

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