Coventry residents are nearly £9,000 worse off on average due to the economy not growing at pre-2010 levels, a study has revealed.
The Centre for Cities think tank has published its ‘Cities Outlook 2024’ report, which offers the latest data on UK cities’ housing, income levels, employment, and productivity.
The report suggests that Coventry residents are £8,950 poorer than they would have been if incomes had grown at the rate they did between 1998 and 2010, a period during which the city saw the highest per-capita income growth in the West Midlands.
On average, Britons are £10,200 worse off, with this loss affecting all cities except seven.
“The challenge for the next government is to go beyond the rhetoric and to do what’s needed to make this rhetoric a reality”
Andrew Carter, Chief Executive of the Centre for Cities
Coventry’s productivity has remained unchanged since 2010, while average annual productivity growth was 0.5% or less in all British cities.
However, employment in Coventry have risen by 15% since 2010, which ranks first in the West Midlands and 21st in the nation.
The report highlights other economic problems, such as housing unaffordability and the increase in relative child poverty.
It argues that the government’s levelling-up policy, where it has aimed to tackle regional inequality, has been ineffective.
Focusing on what these economic trends mean for the upcoming general election, the report predicts that productivity growth will be the focus of the next government.
Andrew Carter, Chief Executive of The Centre for Cities, said: “Both the two main political parties have pledged to grow the economy and the general election debate will have growth at its heart.
“The challenge for the next government is to go beyond the rhetoric and to do what’s needed to make this rhetoric a reality.”
He stressed that “increasing the innovation and dynamism of urban Britain” is the key to economic growth, as cities contribute to 60% of the national economy.
The report suggests the next government improve the economy of large cities outside London, devolve more fiscal power to regional governments, address the funding challenges of local governments, and reform the current planning system which has resulted in decades-long deficits in housebuilding.
A government spokesperson said: “We are committed to levelling up every corner of the UK [and] investing billions to support community regeneration projects … over 50% of England is now covered by a devolution deal.
“We did so after two massive global shocks – Covid and Putin’s war of aggression against Ukraine – which affected every economy worldwide. And yet, the UK has grown faster than Germany, Italy, France, Spain and Japan.”