Belfast's economy was today branded vulnerable because of its reliance on public sectors jobs.
After a year-long study policy think-tank, Centre for Cities claims government-backed jobs will be at risk from the fall-out of the global crisis. In the ‘Belfast: Tipping the Balance’ report, it sets out how the city will be left exposed once Westminster pulls back on public spending.
While “great strides” have been made with an extra 24,000 jobs created between 2001 and 2007, a third of those were in the public sector. Belfast’s large public sector may shelter the city from some of the worst effects of the recession, but only in the short-term. Research manager Hannah Brown, who wrote the report, said: “Many cities think public-sector jobs cushion them. But as pressures on the public purse increase, the city’s dependence on the public sector is likely to put a brake on the city’s recovery.
“Growing Belfast’s private sector will be challenging. Belfast should aim to encourage entrepreneurship, business expansion and investment so that the city can recover from recession and continue its economic renaissance.”
Centre for Cities is an independent urban policy research unit.