UK public sector targeted

At
least one in 10 people will be unemployed in half of UK regions by 2015, an
economic think tank has forecast.

According
to the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), the unemployment rate
will exceed 10 per cent in Wales and the North of England.

The
CEBR blamed expected huge cuts to public sector jobs.

London
and the South of England are expected to escape the worst of the job losses,
however.

The
report warns unemployment could reach as high as 11 per cent in Wales and the
North East of England – both regions where many people are dependent on the
public sector for work.

In
Wales there has been a massive growth in public spending in the last few years,
and that’s probably unsustainable”

However
the researchers predict south east and south west England will see jobless
rates peak at 7 per cent and 8 per cent respectively.

London
is expected to account for 20 per cent of the economy by 2015, thanks to the
expected continued growth in financial services.

In
contrast, the rest of the UK is expected to see its share of economic activity
fall, with the North West seeing the biggest fall.

The
CEBR’s chief executive Douglas McWilliams said that Wales in particular could
suffer because of the number of public sector jobs there.

“Those
regions which are currently very dependent on the public sector are likely to
suffer a lot more as the public sector gets cut,” he said.

The
government is due to detail its planned spending cuts later this year,
following a comprehensive spending review.

Earlier
this month, figures showed unemployment in the UK fell to 2.49 million, with
the rate of unemployment at 7.8 per cent.

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