Regional review [December 1998]

Swales, Kim (1998) Regional review [December 1998]. Quarterly Economic Commentary, 24 (1). pp. 23-24. ISSN 0306-7866

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From 1992 to 1996 there was a general marked narrowing of regional unemployment differentials. During this period unemployment in the southern regions rose much more rapidly than in the peripheral regions. Whilst national unemployment was rising, unemployment differentials were narrowing. Scotland was in the situation where its unemployment rate was below or just marginally above the UK average over all of this period. This contrasts with the situation in the late 1980s where Scottish unemployment was almost 60% above the UK average. However, the period of UK employment growth over the last two years has been associated with an increasing dispersion of unemployment rates across regions. The narrowing of regional unemployment rates in the early 1990s appears to be a temporary phenomenon associated with the spatial adjustment of the UK economy following the Lawson boom.