80% Of All New Jobs Are In London
THERE are various ways you can look at this but it does seem to be true that four out of five, or 80%, of all new private sector jobs are in London:
Talented young people are leaving provincial cities in their 20s, making a success of their lives in London and never go back. London is where the work is: the capital was responsible for four out of every five jobs created in the private sector between 2010 and 2012.
The brain drain meant that every major city outside the south-east is losing young people to London. One in three 22-30 year olds leaving their hometowns end up with Oyster cards and Boris as their mayor.
As ever, the migrants are following the jobs. So we’re seeing the provincial young moving off to London to try their luck. And of course many to most succeed, but they don’t then go home again. They tend to then move out of London but into the counties surrounding it, not going all the way back home.
What we might make of this is myriad: we could say that London’s stealing all the bright and ambitious so the provincial economies will never be able to get ahead. But then as the Dick Whittington story tells us, this has always been true. Indeed, it’s true that the UK (most especially England) is dominated by London in a manner that no other European country is dominated by its capital. And if we’re to be honest it always has been.
However, there are two important points that we can make whatever our politics. The first is that London really is different from the rest of the UK. London is really a part of that great global economy that includes Tokyo, New York and so on. The rest of the UK is a pretty middling EU country.
The second flows from that first: inequality when measured the way we measure it appears higher than it actually is. For yes, London wages are higher than elsewhere in the country: but then so are the costs of living there. Once you adjust for the extra costs then actual lifestyles are much more equal than the national statistics make them look.
Just as an example of that last when you break down average female wages by race you find that the racial grouping with the highest average wages are black women. And that just doesn’t accord with any image of our country at all, does it? The answer being that black women are overwhelmingly in London: thus they’re getting much higher wages than all those white women in Newcastle and Pontefract. Even though, obviously, they’re getting lower wages than white women in London.
That effect of London on wages really is that large.