Cecilia Wong and Helen Zheng, both from the University of Manchester, are authors of the ‘UK2070 Commission Go Local’ report`
Unlike most macro-economic and regional analysis, this report unravels the spatial patterns behind the so-called ‘productivity puzzle’ of the UK. Through GIS mapping analysis, the report aims to provide a better understanding of the emerging spatial landscape of productivity and employment change and to examine whether the spatial patterns are related to different labour market conditions and infrastructure provisions across England. When analysing the more recent trend between 2015 and 2019, five combined authority areas (West Yorkshire, North of Tyne, Greater Manchester, North East, and West Midlands) enjoyed growth in GVA per hour worked for over 4.4% in real terms, which outperformed Greater London’s 3.19% increase. The analysis in the report lays bare the spatial landscape of different socio-economic conditions and challenges faced by different local and combined authorities, as well as highlighting opportunities for more creative spatial thinking to exploit synergies across different places. The report aims to inform the ‘Go Local’ agenda of the UK2070 Commission to achieve its 10-Point Action Plan.