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Big cities hit hardest by recession

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Big cities outside London have suffered the most job losses in the past year, according to a new study.

Birmingham, Leeds, Glasgow, Sheffield, Hull, Manchester, Bradford, Kirklees, Liverpool and Bristol all reported large increases in joblessness.

The Work Foundation study - based on official figures covering the year to February - indicated that unemployment had risen most sharply in the North, the West Midlands, Scotland and areas dominated by traditional manufacturing and heavy industry.

The study found that Birmingham suffered the worst rise in the number of people on unemployment benefit - from 5.3% to 7.3% of the workforce.

"Policymakers ignore how recessions play out locally at their peril," said Naomi Clayton, senior researcher at the Work Foundation.

"It is to be hoped that the forthcoming Budget focuses more attention on the large cities - Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham - that can drive the recovery, as well as recognising which areas need the most support to survive and prepare for better times."

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