Oxford is leading the way in the latest pulbication of an annual report assessing the UK's largest cities and its respective key economic factors.
The 2021/22 Demos-PwC Good Growth for Cities Index, which, for the last decade, has ranked 50 of the UK’s largest cities based on people’s assessment of 12 key economic well-being factors, including jobs, health, income and skills, as well as work-life balance, house affordability, travel-to-work times, income equality, environment and business start-ups.
It is the third year running that Oxford has been ranked number one in the report.
For the first time, two new indicators - safety and high street and shops - have been added to the index. The separate GVA analysis included in the report takes into account a city’s sectoral make-up, the impact of the use of the furlough scheme to protect jobs and rates of Universal Credit claims, COVID infection rates and mobility data to estimate GVA growth for 2021 and 2022.
Oxford scored highly for levels of income, health, skills and safety and above average for jobs availability and environment.
The report sets out how an inflection point has been reached in the UK’s levelling up mission, with now being the time to accelerate efforts and build on the progress that has been made by smaller cities while addressing both the geographical and societal inequalities that continue to exist throughout the country.
Justin Martin, Devolved and Local Government Lead at PwC, said: "We’re emerging from the pandemic with a new set of priorities, largely focused around fairness, the environment and work-life balance. It’s likely that the way we have lived over the past two years has led to people reflecting on what they value the most.
“This appears to be having a significant impact on the fortunes of different places, with the cities that perform well not only having strong local authorities but also being characterised by strong environmental and safety credentials.
“While the vision set out in the Levelling Up White Paper centred primarily around geographic inequality, it did recognise that there are multiple societal disparities which affect people and could hinder the economic recovery. We know from our research that women and people from minority ethnic backgrounds are the most likely to have been negatively impacted as a result of the pandemic.
“Central government, local government and businesses all have a role to play in developing localised plans to address not only the regional inequalities but the societal gaps that also exist within their cities, towns and communities.”