Britain’s resurgent jobs market is being led by cities and towns in the North and Midlands, according to new research by global job site Indeed and the Centre for Cities think tank.

Hiring has gathered pace since lockdown started to ease, but the growth is unevenly spread, joint research by the Centre of Cities think-tank and jobs site Indeed found.

The study analysed vacancies in 63 cities and large towns.

It found that in some parts of the country job postings now exceed their pre-pandemic level. Nine cities or towns now have more job vacancies than before the pandemic, led by Barnsley (+21%), Mansfield (20%) and Stoke (17%).

Elena Magrini, senior analyst at the Centre for Cities, said: "Places reliant on tourism, aviation and office workers have been particularly hard hit and still have high shares of people who are unemployed or on furlough."

Ms Magrini added that despite the patchy recovery, there are reasons for optimism. "Once we have reopened the economy, policy makers need to focus on building back better - growing the economy by creating better paid, higher skilled jobs for people right across the country," she said.

The improving picture in the North and Midlands was partly driven by the mix of available jobs.

Recoveries have been strongest in areas with a greater pre-pandemic share of postings in occupations related to the production and distribution of goods, such as manufacturing, driving and stocking, as well as essential services like healthcare, social care and education.

On the other hand, places with a higher share of pre-pandemic job opportunities in food and beverage services and hospitality and tourism are lagging behind.

Pawel Adrjan, head of EMEA research at Indeed, said: "Cities and towns in the North and Midlands have been buoyed by rising manufacturing, distribution, healthcare and education jobs. But at the same time areas reliant on hospitality, tourism and higher paying jobs that can be performed from home have seen only sluggish growth.

"We've seen how quickly the jobs market reacts to policy and public health announcements and policy makers will hope the eventual unwinding of Covid-19 restrictions will help level up the jobs recovery."

Before COVID-19, Stoke-on-Trent was undergoing the most significant transformation in its economic fortunes it has experienced for over 30 years.

Having been among the fastest local economies to rebound from the last recession, the city had continued to outstrip swathes of the UK in terms of economic growth, job creation and innovation.

Powering Up The City is an integral part of Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s Covid19 recovery plan. Developed to support the recovery of the local economy, its aim is to galvanise  our residents, local businesses and partner organisations to engage, to support and work together in driving forward, accelerating and celebrating the re-opening of the city, post Covid19.

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