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Brighton and Hove one of top ten UK cities helping economic recovery
Updated 2:26pm Monday 27th January 2014 in News
Private enterprise in Brighton and Hove is helping lead the UK's economic recovery.
Research by the Centre for Cities think tank revealed 6,400 private sector jobs had been created in the city in the two years to 2012 - making it the seventh most thriving area of the country for new job creation outside London.
In the same time period, 500 public sector jobs were lost.
However, the report also found that Crawley and Hastings are two of the only benefactors of migration of 22-30-year-old Londoners - with most economic migration in that age group being incoming to the capital.
Brighton, Crawley, Worthing and Hastings are amongst a handful of towns and cities to have a significant net migration from London across all age groups.
However, it says: "While these people may no longer live in London, they very much remain within commuting distance, and commuting patterns suggest that some are likely to remain part of the capital's labour market."
It adds: "The data indicates that London does appear to suck in talent from the rest of the country. But rather than focus on ly on London's dominance, the more pertinent question appears to be: why aren't other large cities offering people enough economic opportunity to stay - and what can be done about it?"
Alexandra Jones, chief executive of Centre for Cities, said: "The gap between London and other UK cities is widening and we are failing to make the most of cities' economic potential.
"Devolving more funding and powers to UK cities so they can generate more of their own income and play to their different strengths will be critical to ensuring this is a sustainable, job-rich recovery."
Cities minister Greg Clark said: "For Britain to prosper, our cities must prosper. They are the engines of growth for the national economy in a world where cities are increasingly competing against others around the world for jobs and investment.
"That is why the City Deals programme, which began in 2012, has been so important, giving cities more power to drive growth, something from which London has benefited for over a decade.
"The Centre for Cities report uses data up to September 2012, and illustrates exactly what the Government was saying at the time - that it is essential to hand powers over to cities so that they can take control of their own destinies. Since then, the cities have gained momentum.
"In the last two years the UK has created over a million jobs, of which over 750,000 are outside London. City Deals and Local Growth Deals will unleash the potential for cities to stimulate growth and create jobs around the country."
Brighton's position as a powerhouse of private enterprise is backed up by figures showing it has the third highest rate of business start-ups per 10,000 of population at 54.5, beaten only by Aberdeen and London. It also has the third highest rate of business closures, 48.1, behind London and Grimsby.
It also has the second highest number of businesses for its size outside the capital, at 403.5 per 10,000 respectively.
The city's job market's largest sector is the ambiguously titled "other services", with 44.2% (64,600 jobs) categorised thus. It is also heavily reliant on the public sector at 29.5% (43,200 jobs), then knowledge intensive service jobs 18% (26,400 jobs) and manufacturing jobs accounting for just 3.5% (5,100).
And the city is also a well-educated one, with 42.4% of the working age population having an NVQ4 level qualification or above. Just 6.4% have no formal qualifications, the sixth lowest rate in the UK - although outgunned by its neighbour Worthing, which has the lowest percentage, 4.4%.
Hastings and Worthing punched above their weight in terms of patents granted with 7.8 and 7.6 per 100,000 population respectively.
However, while Hastings topped the table of JSA claimants, with 4.4% claiming in November 2013, Crawley had one of the lowest rates, 1.7% and seventh lowest in the UK - and it also comes eighth in the table of employment rates, with 74.3% in work.
This may be in part because Crawley is not reliant on the beleaguered public sector, with 4.2 private sector jobs to every public sector one, the highest ratio in the UK. Hastings and Worthing have the fourth and fifth lowest in the UK, both with 1.5 private sector jobs to every one public sector.
Crawley also emerges as a significant outpost of London's private sector, with 22% of its private sector employment in London headquartered businesses - the second highest proportion in the country, outside York.
It came up third in the table of highest weekly earning at £605 a week, behind London and Reading, with Hastings again lagging well behind, with the second lowest, £382.
But it's not all good news for Crawley - the town had the biggest real wage drop in the UK of £20 a week in real terms, equalled only by Blackpool, Cambridge, Rochdale, Wigan - and Hastings.
In Brighton and Hove, real wages fell by £13 to £501 a week.
How are these wages split? Sussex towns and cities did well, with Crawley, Worthing and Brighton amongst the top ten cities with the lowest levels of inequality, at second, fourth and ninth in the table respectively.
The ranking was calculated by comparing JSA claims across neighbourhoods. In Crawley, the disparity between the highest and lowest JSA claim rate by neighbourhood was 4%, Worthing 4.5% and Brighton 6.8%.
Despite the influx of residents, Brighton fared badly in terms of housing stock growth, with just 0.3% more homes available from 2011 to 2012 - the tenth lowest rise in the UK.
This goes some way to explain the 4.2% house price growth, the sixth highest in the country, with Crawley beating it at 6.8%.
The city's green (small g) reputation is borne out by its ranking as sixth lowest CO2 emissions by capita, 4.3 tonnes per person - although the crown goes to Hastings which had just 3.9. Crawley was in the top ten highest emitting towns and cities, with 6.6 tonnes per capita, the ninth highest.
The number of postcodes achieving superfast broadband speeds in 2013 was also measured. Worthing had the fifth highest penetration in the UK, with 87.3%, and Brighton the ninth, with 85.9%.
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