Peterborough in top ten areas hardest hit by coronavirus recession, says report


A new think tank report suggests that Peterborough could struggle to recover from coronavirus economic hit (Picture: Shariqua Ahmed)

The cross-party Social Market Foundation (SMF) warned that areas with high pre-existing unemployment that took longer to recover from the 2008 global financial crisis were most likely to face the biggest economic hit and the slowest revival.

Also assessed were the percentage of jobs in sectors that will take longer to recover. Banking and financial services and construction are expected to take the worst hit from 2020-2023, but transport, manufacturing and hospitality are also anticipated to suffer.

The report revealed that the top ten areas with high impacted industries and high pre-existing employment were:

  • Kingston upon Hull, City of
  • Bradford
  • Walsall
  • Manchester
  • Peterborough
  • Lambeth
  • Thurrock
  • Brent
  • Redbridge and Waltham Forest
  • Sandwell

Peterborough has 71% of jobs in moderate or severely impacted sectors. According to, Peterborough's unemployment rate was 5.4% in 2019, compared to a UK average of 3.8%.

The SMF report said: “The places that face the greatest impact from the downturn are largely in the more affluent South East and London.

“However, an area’s recovery from disruption will depend on local resilience and pre-crisis levels of economic output and employment.

“After the financial crisis, London recovered quickly because of a concentration of jobs in banking and insurance. Whilst these jobs will face the biggest initial blow from coronavirus, evidence suggests the capital is more economically resilient and the labour market will recover quicker than the rest of the country.”

“As the Government tries to get its economic agenda back on track, it needs to be aware of those areas with multiple moderate or severe impact industries which could equate to a spike in localised job losses. This will be compounded if these areas had high pre-crisis rates of unemployment.”