Resolution Foundation

Right Where You Left Me? 

Analysis of the Covid-19 pandemic’s impact on local economies in the UK

Now that the Covid-19 pandemic is largely behind us, this report, part of the Economy 2030 Inquiry, considers what might be the long-term impacts of Covid-19 on spatial inequalities across the UK in key economic outcomes. 

In contrast to the initial fears that Covid could permanently damage our cities (by removing office workers, with the consequent losses in hospitality jobs), the balance of evidence suggests that, by early 2022, changes have had only a minimal impact on spatial inequalities. On the other hand, it is not yet clear that remote working is facilitating levelling up to any meaningful extent, and there is a risk that it could worsen housing affordability in some poorly-paid parts of the country. This means that policy makers seeking to level up deprived parts of Britain should not rely on remote working being a panacea. It is also no cause for celebration that the claimant count has risen most in ethnically diverse parts of Outer London, and so policy makers must also continue to pay attention to inequalities within areas, and in particular consider think how to improve prospects for disadvantaged workers in our core cities. 


For all research queries about this report, please contact Lalitha Try. For press queries, please contact the Resolution Foundation press office.

Lalitha Try
Resolution Foundation

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