Policies to arrest the rapid spread of the Covid‐19 pandemic resulted in whole sectors of the economy and social life being either entirely locked down or severely curtailed in the Spring of 2020. This paper uses a resilience framework to analyse two aspects of ability to resist rising unemployment at local level across Great Britain during the early part of the Covid‐19 pandemic when full ‘lockdown’ measures were in place: (i) level of pre‐lockdown unemployment; and (ii) share of employment in sectors most affected by the lockdown. Findings reveal that pre‐lockdown unemployment is a stronger predictor than sector mix of the rise in unemployment in the first month of the lockdown. This finding underlines the importance of spatially rebalancing the UK economy, including strong local and regional economic development policies, in order to build resilience to future recessionary shocks.
- regional economic systems
- United Kingdom