The decentralisation of population and employment in urban areas were initiated in past decades and were linked with the advent of modern transport. In the last two decades, conurbations have experienced an overall decline but the internal redistribution of population and employment is a continuing feature of British conurbations. The selective redistribution of population has resulted in a relative concentration of less skilled workers in inner areas. The Shift in the industrial base in conurbations shows an increase in service sector industries and a marked decline in manufacturing industries in inner areas. In inner areas there is a mismatch between the skills of the resident labour force and the types of jobs available. Male unemployment levels are twice as high in inner areas as in outer areas of conurbations. In inner areas, there is a lack of access to private transport and a consequent dependence on public transport; journey distances are shorter but journey times are longer than in outer areas. Public transport provides limited access to employment opportunities located outside the inner area. Although the effect of transport measures such as the facilitating of reverse and circumferential commuting or financial assistance with the job search or the work journey is limited in times of high unemployment, benefits may accrue from a better spatial allocation of employees to employers. (A)

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