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Hull could face the slowest economic recovery from Covid-19

Written by: Emma Lunn
A study by the Social Market Foundation has revealed the places facing the worst economic hit from the pandemic.

It found that the places facing the worst economic shock from the pandemic are mostly in London and the south-east of England.

But the study suggests that those places will bounce back relatively quickly.

The places that face a severe economic shock and then a slow recovery are mostly away from London and include some of the ‘Red Wall’ constituencies that changed hands at the general election.

The city of Hull looks was identified as the place set to face the worst economic impact and the slowest recovery.

The cross party think tank’s analysis is based on an assessment of which economic sectors face the greatest disruption in the years after the pandemic.

Industries such as finance and construction (which together employ more than 7.7 million people) face the most severe impacts.

By contrast, the public administration, health and employment sector (which provides 9.5 million jobs) faces only a mild impact.

The SMF calculated the proportion of jobs in each local area in the different economic sectors to identify the places facing the most severe shock.

On that measure, the ten most vulnerable places are:

  • Camden & City of London
  • Kingston & Chelsea and Hammersmith & Fulham
  • Lambeth
  • East Lancashire
  • Hounslow and Richmond upon Thames
  • Ealing
  • Tower Hamlets
  • Westminster
  • Swindon
  • West Essex

But based on the recovery from the global financial crisis and their unemployment levels before the pandemic, the SMF said many of those areas will bounce back relatively quickly.

Taking account of pre-existing unemployment and previous recovery times, the SMF found that the places that face the biggest economic hit and the slowest revival are:

  • The City of Kingston upon Hull
  • Bradford
  • Walsall
  • Manchester
  • Peterborough
  • Lambeth
  • Thurrock
  • Brent
  • Redbridge and Waltham Forest
  • Sandwell

Amy Norman, SMF researcher, says: “Policy makers need to recognise that national or even regional data can conceal the local realities of this recession and should not rely on it when making important decisions for the recovery from coronavirus.

“The economic severity of coronavirus will be felt across many places, but we must remember that this recession does not occur in isolation. Many people and places outside of the capital will be particularly vulnerable due to the lasting hardships of the past decade.

“Young people’s jobs are most at risk, but a quarter of older workers also face job instability. Politicians have announced the guaranteed youth opportunity but are light on support for those in older categories who will find themselves out of work.”

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