Nowhere is feeling the economic and social impact of Covid-19 more than UK’s cities and largest towns. They account for around 60% of the country’s economic output and more than half of the population.
Once the immediate crisis is over, the Government will need to consider how it can help the towns and cities most economically affected by Coronavirus rebuild their economies.
With 176 cases per 100,000 population, Leicester is now the city with the highest infection rate in England — although this is down 23 per cent compared to last week.
Peterborough is the city with the second highest infection rate (175 cases per 100,000 population), followed by Mansfield (174).
At the other end of the spectrum, Gloucester is still the city with the lowest infection rate (26 cases per 100,000 population).
This week’s data shows that five cities are now below the 50 cases per 100,000 population threshold: Gloucester, Plymouth, Exeter, Norwich and Brighton.
Looking at changes since last week shows that cases have been declining in every city except in Worthing, where they went up 25 per cent, and Hull (+8 per cent).
Norwich, Bournemouth and Slough saw the largest declines (around 50 per cent down in just a week).
The lockdown policies that the Government have introduced to slow the spread of Coronavirus have had a huge economic impact. Some parts of the country will feel the negative effects more acutely than others.
Places with stronger highly-skilled information-based economies – mostly in the Greater South East – have been able to more easily adapt to working from home, ensuring that some parts the economy continues to function. However, other areas – mostly in the North and Midlands – with weaker low-skill service-based economies have been less able to do this.
They also have larger proportions of low-skilled self-employed people and the market for their services has shrunk significantly during this pandemic. They may receive less Government support once this crisis is over.
These outside the Greater South East will require more direct Government interventions to support their economies once the immediate public-health crisis is over.
The pandemic has left no corner of the UK unaffected. Since March, the number of people claiming unemployment related benefits has increased dramatically everywhere across the country. And it is not just places with weaker economies that have been hardest hit: traditionally strong economies such as Crawley, London and Slough are among the places that have seen the largest increases in the number of people claiming unemployment related benefits since March, alongside Birmingham, Bradford and Blackpool.
While the introduction of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme prevented even bigger spikes in unemployment, finding a job right now is incredibly though as more people compete for fewer job opportunities.
Once the public health crisis has ended, policymakers must develop a long-term response which recognises that the economic damage done by Coronavirus will be felt differently across the country.
Without a place-focussed economic response, the geographic inequalities that we saw before the Coronavirus will become even more entrenched, and the Prime Minister’s mission to level up the country will even harder to achieve.
On the whole, we see that the city centre workers had responded before the Prime Minister announced what has become known as the lockdown, on Tuesday 24 March, especially in London. The scale and the pace of this response was biggest in the largest cities and in particular those with the strongest city centre economies.
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Some cities will have more people working at home – but have less space while doing so.
Uncertainty for self-employed people, home-working and the importance of agglomeration – the impact of Coronavirus on employment will be felt differently across the UK
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Short-term support to help businesses bounce back from Covid-19 should be combined with the delivery of new housing and transport improvements.
This report investigates the development of the Fast Growth Cities, shining a light on the additional challenges this group has faced due to the pandemic and exploring how best to unlock their further growth and future success.
The Chancellor extended much needed short term support for the economy, but his longer term plans offer little hope of levelling up.
Last week, Centre for Cities hosted an event to discuss the next steps for improving the quality of bus services and their contribution to the economy, supported by Abellio.
This briefing sets out in twelve steps what the Budget 2021 should do to ‘build back better’, level up the economy and help the country to recover from Covid-19.
We’re due to fill out our census forms in less than four weeks’ time, but the roadmap for lifting Covid-19 restrictions should trigger a delay.
While the take-up of the Job Retention Scheme has increased everywhere in January to reflect the third lockdown, there are signs that things are less bad than during the first one.
Online briefing and Q&A
Our latest briefing shows that the Core Cities' city centres have been particularly affected by Covid-19. Policies aimed to kickstart an economic recovery should focus on getting centres working again, in terms of public transport and air quality, commercial property, and investment in skills.
This briefing examines the economic impact of Covid-19 from the first national lockdown to understand how the 11 Core Cities are likely to be affected by continuing restrictions and what the shape of their recovery might look like.