Research Briefing | Sep 28, 2021

UK | Has the pandemic ‘levelled up’ or ‘levelled down’ the UK?

UK | Has the pandemic ‘levelled up’ or ‘levelled down’ the UK?

High-frequency data on numbers of employees and median pay suggest that the Covid-19 pandemic has not made the ‘north-south divide’ wider. Our short term employment forecasts reinforce that. But in terms of broader metrics such as personal financial hardship, the levelling-up challenge has probably got harder.

What you will learn from this report:

  • Local areas with big increases in employee numbers between February 2020 and August 2021 are most likely to be found in the North West and Northern Ireland.
  • In contrast, London dominates the list of local districts with the weakest employment performance, as measured by the tax office PAYE measure of employee numbers.
  • Our forecasts also show northern regions mostly achieving stronger employment performance between 2019 and 2022 than southern.
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