Analysis by the Centre for Cities has found that eight out of 10 of the places in the UK where it is hardest to find a job at the moment are in the north of England.
Its analysis found that Middlesbrough is the hardest place to get a job, as it had the highest number of jobseekers per job listing, followed by Sunderland, Dundee, Luton, Burnley, Birkenhead, Barnsley, Bradford, Huddersfield and Hull.
Conversely, most of the areas with the lowest job competition were in the south.
Cambridge had the lowest rate of jobseekers per listed role, followed by Oxford, Reading, Exeter, Bristol, London, Aldershot, Belfast, York and Swindon.
By working with the job site Indeed, the Centre for Cities think tank analysed the changes in the number of CVs listed with the site, compared with the number of vacancies in each area, between April and June.
The analysis highlights how the impact of the crisis has not been felt evenly across the country, with competition for each job in Middlesbrough nine times more than in Cambridge.
The report notes that the 10 cities with the highest job competition are on average 13% less productive and have 36% fewer people with high-level qualifications than the 10 cities with the least competition.
Part of the issue seems to be the ability of companies in different areas to adapt to the Covid-19 crisis, as the 10 most competitive cities were also the places least likely to have workers switch to home-working during lockdown.
Less than 20% of workers in Middlesbrough, Barnsley or Doncaster were able to work from home during lockdown, while approximately 40% in Cambridge, London and Reading could.
Covid-19 has had a disastrous impact on the UK economy, particularly in the job market, with firms announcing staffing cuts across many industries, and experts anticipating another slew of losses once the furlough scheme runs out.
This has put pressure on both sides of the job market, with people being made redundant finding that few other jobs are available, and those jobs which are available being applied for by increasing numbers of people.
To create equal opportunities for everyone in the UK, jobs must be created everywhere in the country
An author of the report said: “Last week’s announcements by the Chancellor, including the launch of the Kickstart scheme, are useful steps to counter rising unemployment, especially among young people.
“But our analysis suggests that, to create equal opportunities for everyone in the UK, jobs must be created everywhere in the country. That should be a central focus of the Autumn spending review.”