- Brexit-voting cities in the North and Midlands are going to be hit hardest by automation, says a new report.
- 3.6 million jobs in cities will be displaced by 2030 as a result of globalisation and robots.
- However, job losses pose less of a threat to the South than the rest of the country.
LONDON – British cities that voted most strongly for Brexit are set to lose the most jobs as a result of globalisation and the increased use of robots.
Around one in five jobs that currently exist in British cities are set to be displaced by the year 2030, according to a new report out today published by Centre For Cities. This equates to approximately 3.6 million jobs.
However, the report warns that job losses will not be spread evenly across the country.
Areas in the North and Midlands are set to suffer the greatest share of job losses, while more affluent areas in the South and London will lose the smallest share.
The Centre For Cities estimates that, on average, 18% of jobs in the South will be displaced as a result of globalisation and automation, compared to 23% in rest of the country.
The report shows that areas most at risk of losing their jobs are among those which returned the largest votes to leave the European Union in the Brexit referendum of June 2016.
For example, Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, is the city most at risk of job losses. Mansfield also had a higher proportion of Brexit-voting residents than any other city in the UK. Doncaster, Wakefield and Telford, which also returned strong Brexit votes, are regarded as among the top 10 cities most vulnerable to automation.
On the other hand, the cities least at risk from job losses are wealthier regions of the South which were generally strong supporters of staying in the European Union.
The report concludes that while all cities will benefit from job growth brought about about automation, it will be Southern cities that are set to attract high skilled roles, while elsewhere it will be low skilled occupations which grow.
Reacting to the Centre For Cities report, Julie Elliott, Labour MP for Sunderland Central and member of anti-hard Brexit group Best For Britain, said: “This research is very concerning about the potential negative impact on jobs in Sunderland as a result of Brexit.
“I have raised the issue of the automotive industry and wider manufacturing on numerous occasions in Parliament.
“It is essential that these issues are addressed and that the government look to have tariff-free trade, however they can negotiate it, to stop what would be a catastrophic outcome of Brexit for Sunderland.”
Centre For Cities Chief Executive, Andrew Carter, said the report highlighted the failures of the “one-size fits all approach” taken by by the government.
“The challenges and opportunities ahead for Blackburn are very different to those for Brighton,” Carter said.
“The Government needs to give cities more powers and resources to tackle the issues that automation and globalisation will present, and to make the most of the benefits they will bring.”
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