Greater Manchester’s Combined Authority is currently developing its Spatial Framework (the GMSF). This framework seeks to ensure that Greater Manchester has the right land available in the right places to deliver the homes and jobs needed up to the year 2035. Frontier Economics provided an independent economic analysis of the employment forecasts underpinning the GMSF, on behalf of The Peel Group.
Frontier’s research found that the employment growth assumption was too low and was inconsistent with the aspirations for growth expressed by Greater Manchester. The work also found that there is a significant risk that growth could be constrained if development policy is based upon these employment assumptions.
Frontier’s conclusion was based on the following reasoning:
- The GMSF does not adequately take into account the economic evidence on urban and city growth. The ability to attract or retain skilled employees within Greater Manchester is likely to be a key driver of projected growth but the employment forecasts that underpin the GMSF do not appropriately reflect this.
- There is an inconsistency between Greater Manchester’s economic policy, which looks towards future growth potential and the GMSF employment assumptions, which are based on past investments and policy.
- The GMSF employment growth assumption of 0.7% per year appears too low compared to recent history and comparator cities. For example, growth in employment has averaged 0.76% per annum since 1999, despite the deepest recession in post-war history, and has averaged 1.22% per annum in the five years since 2009.
Frontier regularly advises clients on the economic drivers of growth including labour markets and skills, infrastructure and innovation.
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