Local differences

This latest report from UK think tank Resolution Foundation looks at the response to the local economic impact of coronavirus.

Britain’s jobs crisis has hit every part of the country hard. At a headline regional level, job loss and furloughing has been fairly evenly spread. But increases in unemployment-related benefit claims have been larger in areas that started out with higher claimant rates, with this especially true when we focus at a more local level. The reliance on tourism in some local areas adds to the generalised impact of the shutdown that has hit sectors like hospitality and leisure – which are quite spread across the country – particularly hard. Coastal areas like Blackpool, Pembrokeshire, Devon and Cornwall face a double lockdown whammy: many local businesses have been shut, and travel restrictions mean that demand for a broader set of goods and services is particularly depressed in these areas because it tends to come from elsewhere. As restrictions ease, both these challenges will remain in place. These findings have implications for how we think about local differences in the policies that will support the recovery. The size and speed of the economic hit during this crisis necessitates a national and geographically spread policy response. But the particular uphill challenge faced by some areas means they will require more resources, and in some cases a more targeted set of policy measures.

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