Just a year ago, Crawley was counted among the most economically successful cities and large towns in the country, but the collapse of the international travel industry has raised concerns about the town's future.
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After the most challenging of years, Cities Outlook 2021 assesses the impact of Covid on urban life and on the Government’s promise to level up the economy.
The pandemic has made levelling up four times harder and it risks levelling down otherwise economically successful parts of the country as well.
Skills are a key determinant of the success of people and places. Levelling up must address the root causes that are holding cities and large towns back.
Despite claimant count remaining unchanged or declining in almost every city and large town over the past month, places are entering this second lockdown in a much weaker position than in March.
Job postings are slower to recover where more people work from home and high-street footfall remains low, making it harder for redundant workers to find jobs.
While over the summer many social distancing restrictions were lifted almost everywhere, this was not reflected in the same way in local labour markets.
This is the first recession where real time data from private companies is giving up to date information on the performance of the economy. It’s time the public sector caught up.
Unemployment claims continue to rise, but at a slower pace, suggesting the gradual phase out of the job retention scheme has not translated into unemployment. At least not yet.
In the UK, competition for jobs has risen most in places where work was already hardest to find, raising concerns about widening geographic inequality.