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Less dynamic labour market as north-south divide widens

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Office workers are among those staying in their jobs in order to ride out the economic storm, as the labour market becomes less dynamic.

Fewer people are resigning or being made redundant from their jobs, according to figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

They show that the number of people leaving their jobs between April and June this year fell by 42 per cent in comparison to the preceding 13 months.

Since unemployment is at a 17 year high the figures corroborate the view that many workers are keen to stick to the relatively stable option of keeping their current job.

Of those who did leave their jobs during that period, 57 per cent did so voluntarily with the others going due to redundancy.

The number of people leaving their jobs in the private sector has stayed at a relatively stable rate from before the recession and throughout it.

It is the public sector which has seen an increase from 1.1 per cent in 2004 to 1.8 per cent in 2009, according to the ONS.

Younger people are more likely to take their chances, the figures also confirmed, and leave their main job in the hope of finding something else.

Further research by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) for its financial stress index has seen an even bigger increase in the size of the north-south divide.

It identified the north-east of England and Yorkshire as being the areas worst affected by falling house prices and a rise in unemployment.

Many people are also suffering from an absence of pay rises, increased taxes, personal insolvencies, as well as public sector cuts.

John Hawksworth, chief economist at PwC, said: “London performs worse than many other regions on measures such as unemployment rates, but our index demonstrates that the impact of the recession on household financial stress has been less in London than in other regions.”

With so many other financial pressures being heaped on households, those in steady employment throughout the country are sitting tight and waiting for better times.