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Globalisation and automation increase reliance on public sector jobs

Publicly funded occupations are expected to increase to half of jobs in cities by 2030, analysis by the Centre for Cities has revealed.

Whilst automation and globalisation have impacted on private sector jobs in some areas, in 29 out of 62 cities across Britain, public sector jobs have increased by over 20% in the last 60 years.

The centre’s analysis claims that the public sector has increasingly compensated for the “sluggish performance” of the private sector in these areas.

It goes on to explain that as well as its role in job creation in weaker economies, the public sector also compensates those whose jobs have disappeared as a result of automation and globalisation, with a relationship between the share of public sector jobs and the share of those on long-term incapacity benefit.

The lack of sufficient adaptation to change has impacted on the relevance of skills available in some cities, which has led to an increased reliance on public sector jobs, causing varying standards of living across the country, the analysis argues.

Andrew Carter, chief executive of Centre for Cities, said that local and national leaders need to act to ensure that cities enjoy the benefits that automation and globalisation should offer.

“That means reforming the education system to give young people the cognitive and interpersonal skills they need to thrive in the future, and improving school standards, especially in places where jobs are most at risk,” he explained.

“We also need greater investment in lifelong learning and technical education to help adults adapt to the changing labour market, and better retraining for people who lose their jobs because of these changes.”

Carter continued: “In an ever more divided country, it’s increasingly clear that a one-size-fits-all approach from central government is inadequate to address the myriad issues that different places face.

“The challenges and opportunities ahead for Blackburn are very different to those for Brighton.

“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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