Birm­ing­ham named most im­proved city

Birmingham Post - - NEWS -

BIRM­ING­HAM has been named as the na­tion’s top im­prov­ing city in a new re­port as Mid­lands cities see strong jobs growth and catch up on their coun­ter­parts in the South East.

Ac­cord­ing to the lat­est Good Growth for Cities In­dex, pub­lished by Demos and PwC, Birm­ing­ham is first in a top ten list of im­prov­ing towns and cities, with Wal­sall and Wolverhampton in joint eighth.

How­ever, in the top ten high­es­trank­ing cities in the 2017 in­dex, Coven­try is placed in eighth and Le­ices­ter ninth.

Pub­lished this week, the sixth an­nual Good Growth for Cities 2017 re­search mea­sures the per­for­mance of 42 of the UK’s largest cities, Eng­land’s lo­cal en­ter­prise part­ner­ships and the new com­bined au­thor­i­ties against a list of ten in­di­ca­tors based on the views of the pub­lic as to what is key to eco­nomic suc­cess and well­be­ing.

The most im­por­tant fac­tors were named as em­ploy­ment, health, in­come and skills ahead of hous­ing af­ford­abil­ity, com­mut­ing times and en­vi­ron­men­tal fac­tors.

John Hawksworth, chief economist at PwC, said: “The UK has been a great job-cre­at­ing ma­chine in re­cent years and this has driven im­prove­ment in our good growth in­dex this year across all ma­jor UK cities.

“On av­er­age across the UK, the in­dex is now at its high­est level since it be­gan in 2006 and all re­gions have ben­e­fited from this up­turn.

“But there has also been a price to pay for this in terms of wors­en­ing hous­ing af­ford­abil­ity, in­creased av­er­age com­mut­ing times and more peo­ple hav­ing to work long hours.

“The cities that are high­est ranked on the in­dex also tend to suf­fer the high­est price of suc­cess.”

The in­dex shows that all 42 UK cities im­proved their score rel­a­tive to the 2016 In­dex, driven pri­mar­ily by in­creas­ing em­ploy­ment. In gen­eral, those cities that have seen the big­gest im­prove­ments in their over­all score have also ex­pe­ri­enced par­tic­u­larly large falls in un­em­ploy­ment in re­cent years.

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