Better connectivity

Levelling up calls for a comprehensive policy approach

Levelling up calls for a comprehensive policy approach

Inequality is one of the burning issues of the day. The current surge in inflation, which hurts the poor more than the rich, amplifies the problem. Tax and wage policies are clearly part of any solution, but in this newsletter we take a broader approach and examine how a focus on better connectivity – broadly defined - can foster greater equality.

The logistics industry has a reputation for low pay and poor working practices, but research by Frontier paints a rosier picture. We observe a sector that has created more jobs in the government’s high-priority areas than any other industry. Communities that host logistics sites enjoy faster economic growth. The industry offers valuable job pathways for people who are academically middling. And entry-level jobs are relatively well paid. We argue that logistics could contribute more to reducing regional disparities if transport links were improved and planning procedures streamlined. 

Sticking with the UK, we look at how some people risk being left behind in the rush to digital payments. Although the government is committed to helping this minority by retaining access to cash, we suggest some creative measures that policymakers could take to bring about a fully inclusive digital economy.

In a similar vein, we report on the progress being made to improve job prospects for the disabled and people with long-term health conditions. But we caution that regional disparities in the drive for employment inclusion are still stark.

A further article looks at another big disparity - in prices of property in London and surrounding counties. Tantalisingly, we find signs that, because of COVID-19, buyers are shunning central London and moving to leafier, more spacious suburbs. Turning to Europe, we look at plans to use part of the EU’s post-pandemic economic recovery plan to improve telecoms connectivity and thereby narrow the digital divide between town and country.

Team thoughts

Once people are able to participate in one part of the digital economy, it would open doors to others. That means that solving access to digital payments could allow the unbanked and others who rely on cash to take advantage of a broader range of digital services.
Kristine Appleton
Manager
Well-judged policies to improve transport links, develop workforce skills and streamline planning applications can help the logistics industry to expand further, thereby boosting economic growth and enhancing social outcomes.
Federico Cilauro
Manager

In numbers

1.25M

people are employed in logistics.

4.1%

of jobs in the UK are in the logistics industry

£48BN

in gross value added was generated in logistics in 2021

Team Thoughts

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