Report: Job growth in South outstrips rest of country

The gap between British best and worst performing cities has widened, the report found Credit: Nick Ansell/Martin Rickett/PA Wire

A handful of cities in southern England are driving economic growth while many in the rest of the country have seen job losses and population decline, a report has found.

For every 12 jobs created in the South between in the decade to 2013, just one was created in cities throughout the rest of the UK.

While London has seen jobs increase by more than 17%, cities like Blackpool, Rochdale and Gloucester saw jobs decrease by 10%.

The Centre for Cities research group tracked job growth, population and new businesses in UK cities between 2004 and 2013.

The city with the highest rate of job growth was Milton Keynes (up by 18.2%), followed by London, Cambridge and Brighton.

At the other end of the scale was Gloucester, Rochdale, Blackpool and Newport.

10 cities with the lowest job growth, numbers of new jobs between 2004 and 2013 Credit: Centre for Cities

There was also a huge difference in populations, growing by 16.5% in Milton Keynes and falling by 1.4% in Sunderland.

The number of new businesses varied - up by almost a third in Swindon but down by 5.5% in Grimsby.

Andrew Carter, acting chief executive of Centre for Cities, said the results show a widening gap between Britain's best and worst performing cities:

Cities Minister Greg Clark said that over 60% of economic growth since 2010 has taken place outside of London and the South East, but acknowledged that "there is more do to".

He said: "We have given greater powers to 27 of the UK's largest cities through City Deals and ... committed a further £7 billion to the north of England, alongside the ground-breaking devolution deals and £6 billion of Growth Deals in every part of England."

Shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna said the report showed the "huge potential for more balanced growth across Britain by devolving powers and budgets".