This Yorkshire constituency is set to lose more jobs than anywhere in the UK

More than a third of jobs in one Yorkshire constituency are at risk due to the coronavirus epidemic.

Richmond and the Yorkshire Dales usually receive more than 10 million visitors a year. Pic: James Hardisty

One in three jobs in Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s constituency of Richmond are at risk of being lost due to the coronavirus crisis, according to new research.

The North Yorkshire constituency is expected to suffer more economic damage than anywhere else in the UK due to its reliance on the hospitality and tourism sectors, which employ 35 per cent of people in the area.

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A total of 6,000 jobs are at risk in the area, which includes large swathes of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, normally visited by 10 million tourists a year.

Richmond and the Yorkshire Dales usually receive more than 10 million visitors a year. Pic: James Hardisty

Scarborough and Ryedale also featured in the top 10 of the list compiled by the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA).

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.

These are heavily concentrated in London, Oxbridge and the Home Counties, but even in these areas one in five jobs is put at high risk by the RSA.

Leader of Richmondshire Council Coun Angie Dale said the area had suffered a “double winter” because of the impact of flooding last year.

“Richmondshire is suffering a triple whammy. There’s a real concern for a lot of local businesses about how they’ll survive.”

Coun Dale said the council would be working closely with the Local Enterprise Partnerships and other bodies in the area to help address the impact and “get the economy back on track”.

“Economic growth is a priority and the council is already looking at a recovery plan.”

Despite the gloom, Coun Dale said she was remaining optimistic.

She added: “Any area that has a lot of tourism is at risk but I feel confident that when this is over, more people than ever will want to holiday in the UK. The first thing people are going to want to do is go on holiday.”

The RSA called for a new “social contract” between government, employees and employers, with a focus on economic security – and in particular shifting to a Universal Basic Income, with an initial payment of £48 per adult per week funded largely by removing the personal allowance

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."

This follows similar research earlier in the week that found Yorkshire towns were among the worst affected by lockdown.

The Centre for Towns said new measures on top of those already announced will be needed to avoid the "initial shock" of the last month's lockdown from "turning into permanent damage".

It listed the Yorkshire towns of Whitby and Ilkley as among those with the highest proportion of people employed in the worst-hit sectors of the economy.

Mr Sunak’s office has been contacted for a response.