No city or large town has been left unaffected by the impacts of Covid-19, which has sent shockwaves through the UK labour market and in some cases heightened existing inequalities to do with unemployment and skills.
Between March 2020 and Jan 2021, 1.3 million people lost their jobs as a result of Coronavirus. Although some parts of the country are now beginning to stabilise, significant challenges remain. What is clear is that places up and down the country have reacted differently to the reopening of the economy and the lifting of restrictions. Now that the furlough scheme has officially ended, the next steps for the Government will be to implement policies that get those who have lost their jobs back into the labour market and support industries that have been hit the hardest.
Claimant count has fallen across almost all cities between September and October with the exception of Slough. Trends for this month did not have a noticeable geographic patter in terms of cities’ locations or industrial composition. Although the continued fall in unemployment is welcome, to ensure a swift bounce back of the economy, the Government now needs to support those who have been affected by Covid-19 to return to work.
In the run-up to the end of furlough, several places remained heavily reliant on the scheme and still had high take-up rates. These included places like Crawley and Slough due to their reliance on the travel and aviation sectors, a pattern which has stayed consistent throughout the pandemic.
Take up rates were also consistently high in big cities like London, Glasgow and Birmingham, likely due to a large proportion of office workers continuing to work from home which then limited consumer spending and economic activity in city centres.
Our recent research reveals that as we begin to recover from the pandemic, job growth is unevenly spread across the country, with postings in cities and towns in the North and Midlands outperforming those in the South and South East. Barnsley, Mansfield and Stoke have recorded some of the strongest job posting recovery to date, whilst Aberdeen, Belfast and Crawley have experienced the weakest, with London also lagging behind.
Job creation is the most pressing policy challenge we now face. According to our latest research in partnership with HSBC UK, almost 10 million new jobs will need to be generated to recover from the pandemic. This research looked at patterns of the past, specifically the UK’s jobs miracle between 2013 and 2019, to highlight how cities will play a particularly important role in the UK’s recovery, representing the main job creators post-Covid.
Centre for Cities’ Cities Outlook 2021 highlighted the stark inequalities that exist in terms of access to job opportunities and education across the UK. Much of this inequality comes down to differences in industrial structure within cities, as shown by City Monitor. For example, London is home to almost 25 per cent of knowledge intensive private-sector jobs, compared to just over 5 per cent in Burnley. If the Government is to successfully address this inequality, its levelling up agenda should focus on investing in skills and improving office working space and city-region transport infrastructure to attract more high-knowledge businesses to underperforming places.
While unemployment is on the rise everywhere, some parts of the country have been hit hard by Covid—19 more than others.
Guilherme Rodrigues analyses the latest claimant count and job postings data and warns that some cities look particularly vulnerable as we approach the end of the furlough scheme.
Data from this month's update shows a recovery in all cities and large towns, however, significant challenges remain for places.
Nine out of 63 cities and large towns have recovered to their pre-pandemic level of job postings, with the North and Midlands outperforming the South and South East.
Data from this month's update shows signs of recovery in most cities and large towns, but for a few, significant challenges remain.
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.
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.
Covid-19 is reshaping the economy, changing demand as well as ways of working.
New Job Retention Scheme data shows that firms in different places are taking varying decisions as to how to deal with the current uncertainty. This has implications for their ability to recover as the lockdown ends.
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
Sunday’s announcement from the Prime Minister encouraging workers who cannot work from home to go back to work will be felt most in the North and Midlands.
In the UK, competition for jobs has risen most in places where work was already hardest to find, raising concerns about widening geographic inequality.
This report examines the pattern of private sector growth within the UK’s seven-year jobs miracle to inform how new jobs can be created as the Government looks to ‘build back better’ and level up the country.
Covid-savings and debt are unevenly distributed across the country, risking an uneven recovery as restrictions are lifted.
Technological changes, globalisation and other labour market trends, compounded with Covid—19, are reshaping the world of work, with implications for policy.
Nobody yet knows what the future of post-pandemic work looks like, but it may not be as different as some expect.
The Prime Minister’s adult skills announcements are a welcome step to support people adapt to the changing labour market while helping places ‘level up’ – the next step should be investment in job creation.
While it may be comfortable for many older workers to remain at home, doing so risks limiting the professional development of the next generation.
There is a concern that school closures – albeit necessary for public health reasons – will further widen the gap between children living in disadvantaged areas and their better off peers.
How should the Government roll back its support in a way that allows growth to occur across the country?
As robots take over the world of work, this report investigates the types of skills that humans will increasingly need to succeed in the future.
How will the rise of the robots affect jobs in UK cities?Read it in full here
Cities can offer low-skilled people good economic outcomes that support inclusive growth aims, but inclusive growth cannot come without economic growth.Read the full report here
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Join Centre for Cities at this year's Labour Party Conference 2023 for this panel discussion on economic inactivity across the country, and what can be done.
Join Centre for Cities at this year's Conservative Party Conference 2023 for this panel discussion on economic inactivity across the country, and what can be done.
The launch of Centre for Cities' latest report exploring growth hotspots around the country, and their relevance for policymakers.
Relocating high-skilled public sector jobs to a struggling area is an obvious lever to pull, but the real issue is their lack of high-skilled jobs in the private sector.
HSBC's announcement of its intention to move its global headquarters raised concerns about Canary Wharf's future. The most revealing part of the story however is not where the bank is moving from, but where it is moving to.
The share of remote job postings has increased in all cities since the pandemic, but the dominance of hybrid rather than fully-remote working means that this won’t ‘level up’ economic opportunity in the UK.
Private Roundtable with Bridget Phillipson, Shadow Secretary of State for Education.
The pandemic hit Transport for London hard, and weekday ridership still lags pre-pandemic levels. But weekends have fully recovered in central London – what does this new pattern mean for the future of the network?
From an economic perspective, returning to the office is important. But long and expensive commutes are making workers reluctant to do so.
There are a number of market failures in the return to the office that mean that policy should take an active role in encouraging the return to the office.