Parts of England will face a "dismal decade" of unemployment, a think tank has warned.
Economic forecasting for IPPR North has studied how long it will take each region to return to the 2008 employment peak.
It has found more evidence of the growing North-South divide as the North East and West Midlands will take years longer than the South East to recover.
Figures show that employment will not return to its 2008 peak until 2018 in the North West; 2019 in Yorkshire and Humber; and by 2020 it shows that the North East and West Midlands will only return to 1990 levels and will still be someway off the 2008 peak.
However, the forecasting indicates that employment will return to its 2008 peak by 2014 in London, the South East and the East Midlands.
Ed Cox, Director of IPPR North said: "The situation outside of London and the South East is looking bleak, particularly in the North East and West Midlands where the jobs recovery is expected to take more than a decade.
"This new research is alarming and something urgently needs to be done to stop the gulf widening and people in the worst affected areas suffering a dismal decade.
"But there are things that can be done right now to help and a jobs guarantee would be a good place for George Osborne to start.
"This would help boost employment in the areas that need it most and offer some hope to people who are long-term unemployed."
© 2011 Press Association