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Wednesday, September 16, 1998 Published at 00:12 GMT 01:12 UK

UK 'divided in two' on jobs

The UK has a divided economy, says the TUC report

The UK is divided into regions of full employment and areas where jobless rates are almost 10%, according to a new report by the TUC.

[ image: Unemployment is nearly 10% in 11 counties]
Unemployment is nearly 10% in 11 counties
Recent job losses in north east England, including the Tony Blair's own constituency, highlight the impact of a "two-speed" economy and the creation of a "two-region" economy.

A fifth of workers live in 15 counties, mainly in eastern and southern Britain and the Midlands, which have average unemployment rates of 3.3%.

But another fifth live in 11 counties in the north, Scotland, West Midlands and inner London, where the rate is 9.4%.

TUC general secretary John Monks said: "Britain has a two-region economy, with a stark divide between full employment suburbia and high unemployment urban areas."

In the counties with high unemployment, a third of jobless people have been out of work for more than a year, and one in four for more than two years.

[ image: The south has low unemployment]
The south has low unemployment
In counties with full employment, 23% of the unemployed have been out of work for longer than 12 months and 13% for more than two years.

The TUC wants the government to bring forward planned investment after predicting that economic growth next year will be just 1.25% due to the international economic crisis.

The report states: "The TUC still thinks the economy as a whole will escape recession, which technically requires at least two quarters of falling output, but it will now be a closer run thing than previously thought."

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