Urban areas across England and Scotland, including in West Yorkshire, have experienced a decline in job postings due to the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Despite signs of economic recovery in some sectors, vacancy figures have failed to return to the level they were at before the pandemic.
The trend has repeated across all 63 towns and cities examined in a study be an economic think tank.
Experts say that the recent spate of local lockdowns imposed in recent weeks will further exacerbate the situation over the winter, with towns and cities in Scotland set to feel the effects more severely than in England.
Andrew Carter, chief executive of Centre for Cities, said: “This could have potentially catastrophic long-term consequences for people and the economy.
“The government has told us to expect a tough winter and while local lockdowns are necessary to protect lives, it is vital that ministers continue to listen and reassess the level of support given to help people and places to cope with the months ahead.”
The challenges faced by sectors particularly exposed to Coronavirus restrictions, such as the hospitality industry, have contributed heavily to the concerning statistics, while the high number of people working from home has also had a big impact on retail.
The UK unemployment rate stood at 4.5% in the three months to August – the highest level seen in over three years.
According to the Office for National Statistics, an estimated 1.5 million people were out of work and job hunting between June and August.
A spokesperson for the Treasury said it had put in place a plan to protect and create jobs in every region of the UK, and increased the generosity of its winter support schemes.
“We are also providing additional funding for local authorities and devolved administrations to support local businesses,” they added.
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