Last week, my team’s research revealed that Covid-19 related job losses could widen the North/South divide if urgent action is not taken. More than 10% of the workforce in the North West – around 351,000 people – are employed in retail, which in recent weeks has been badly hit. Meanwhile, the at risk manufacturing sector accounts for between 10% and 12% of all jobs in Yorkshire and the Humber, the North West and North East. By contrast just 2.2% in London work in manufacturing, according to the figures from the Office for National Statistics’ business register and employment survey. We are in the midst of a jobs crisis right across the UK but these figures show certain areas are more at risk than others. The government’s one-size-fits-all approach will see some communities hit harder and they must adopt a more tailored approach now if we are to avoid further job losses. This Prime Minister promised an economic revolution for the North, and yet without serious intervention we may risk the opposite. I spoke to The Guardian about the disproportionate risks to the Northern economy.
Meanwhile, a troubling report by the Child Poverty Action Group last week revealed the poorest Brits will be hardest hit by Covid-19. We need a strong and fair social security net that is there for everyone in extraordinary circumstances like these. I spoke to the Daily Mirror about what must be done.