More than one in three jobs in Richmondshire are at risk due the coronavirus, an alarming new report has found.
Due to its tourism and hospitality sectors, the district tops a national list of areas most at risk from Covid-19 with 35 per cent of all jobs at risk.
The report was prepared by the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA), which said a new social contract was needed to address widespread economic insecurity.
Its analysis revealed the areas most and least vulnerable to job losses caused by Covid-19, showing that those with a high proportion of jobs in hospitality, retail and tourism are most affected.
Areas in the North and Midlands, the South West of England and parts of Scotland and Wales dominate the rest of the list.
Those with the highest proportion of jobs in the knowledge economy, which can more easily be done from home, are said to be least at risk.
Alan Lockey, head of the RSA future work centre, said: “No part of the country is going to be spared a severe recession, but those most dependent on hospitality and tourism will be particularly badly hit, especially rural areas, including many Tory shires.
“The government’s response so far has been robust and rightly focused on whole swathes of the population.
“But it must avoid going back to ‘business as usual’ – Universal Credit, sanctions and means-testing – if it’s to avoid the devastating impact of prolonged unemployment on whole swathes of the population.
“Covid-19 only highlights the need for a welfare state which addresses the economic insecurity felt by growing numbers of people in the UK.
“We need to see the state providing more unconditional support to a greater number of people, as well as funding personal learning accounts to support retraining throughout the crisis.”
Cllr Angie Dale, leader of Richmondshire District Council, said the district’s businesses had endured a rough 12 months with flooding, the cancellation of the UCI road world cycling championships and the Tour de Yorkshire through the Dales and now this pandemic.
“For an area that relies heavily on tourism for its income we are taking a massive hit.
“But local businesses are working hard to provide a community service through this pandemic with home deliveries for everything or even a complete change of direction – our gin distilleries are producing hand sanitiser for example.
“Any area that relies heavily on tourism for income is going to suffer and we as a council will be working hard with our partners to get the district back on track at the end of this crisis.
“The first thing everyone will want to do is have a day away from home – and we want the Dales and Richmondshire to be ready and waiting for them.”