'Massive economic consequences' as Edinburgh has lowest workplace activity in the world compared to pre-Covid
The data, from Google, tracks the location of users and judges whether they are at work, at home, or doing recreational activities.
Edinburgh is showing signs of having one of the slowest economic recoveries in the world post-lockdown as the impact of the Covid-19 crisis takes hold of the habits of the people of the Capital.
Google data, analysed by Dan Cookson, an independent housing and spatial information specialist, shows that the city is struggling to bounce back from the coronavirus lockdown.
The data, which tracks people’s movements and allocates it as being at home, at work, or doing recreation activities, shows that when compared to pre-lockdown, Edinburgh has the lowest workplace activity of anywhere in the world, down 69 per cent as of July 7.
Cities across the UK are among the lowest in the world with Glasgow down 59 per cent, Aberdeen and Greater London down 58 per cent.
Other countries such as Vietnam are showing a much strong recovery mainly due to their lockdown starting and ending earlier, with workplace activity up 40 per cent when compared to March 2.
Edinburgh had also been bottom of the list in terms of recreation activities before Leicester dropped below the Scottish capital during its renewed lockdown.
Conservative group chairman, Cllr Jason Rust said the statistic was “astonishing”.
He said: “This is an astonishing statistic and shows the level of the challenge ahead to get the economy kickstarted. There has been significant and unprecedented UK Government intervention to protect, support and create jobs and we need to build on this and as a capital city lead the way.
"Good, secure jobs are the key. There are massive economic consequences arising from the pandemic and we now need to all do our bit to get over the shock and get Edinburgh moving again and support Edinburgh's businesses.”
Depute leader of the council, Labour’s Cammy Day said: "It's interesting to see how lockdown has changed the way we live and move around our City and we already know that more and more people are working from home and taking up cycling rather than traveling by public transport or car.
"Looking at the Google data, it's also clear that the vast majority of people in Edinburgh have been following the public health guidance, staying at home when advised to and sticking to their local area. This has been critical for containing the virus and saving lives.
"Unsurprisingly, there has been a sharp increase in people rediscovering the city's parks and greenspaces and, as more and more businesses and workplaces start to re-open, we'll have the opportunity to enjoy even more of our City.
“There remains a dip in travel for leisure and recreation, but this is because Scotland's response to the pandemic and the lifting of lockdown is different to other parts of the UK. I'm sure the data will look quite different in a few weeks but it will take time to recover.
"Many local businesses rely on for income from visitors, particularly during August, so we’ll all have a part to play in visiting our favourite shops and restaurants where we can. This is the time to show these businesses how much we value them."
A message from the Editor:
Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.
The dramatic events of 2020 are having a major impact on many of our advertisers - and consequently the revenue we receive. We are now more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription to support our journalism.
Subscribe to the Edinburgh Evening News online and enjoy unlimited access to trusted, fact-checked news and sport from Edinburgh and the Lothians. Visit https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/subscriptions now to sign up.
By supporting us, we are able to support you in providing trusted, fact-checked content for this website.