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A Leeds Now investigation: How has COVID-19 affected Leeds?

Leeds Millennium Square
By Izzy Holden
Since March 2020 the whole world has been drastically changed by the COVID-19 pandemic, this Leeds now investigation takes a look at how the pandemic has affected Leeds.

In February 2020, Leeds had its first two cases of COVID-19. Since then covid cases and related deaths have fluctuated throughout the pandemic, with some areas of the UK being more highly affected than others.

In Leeds, coronavirus cases have remained above 8,000 a month since June but related deaths have remained low in comparison. July was the worst month for COVID-19 cases which could be attributed to social distances measures ending and events opening up again. Despite the rise, the amount of deaths did not significantly increase over the following months.

Daily Stats

This graph shows the amount of reported covid cases in Leeds for both 2020 and 2021. 

Interestingly, the amount of positive cases in October for 2020 and 2021 are very similar with both being just under 16,000. This trend continues into November, in which they both decline sharply at under 11,000, the data is also roughly the same for the months of April and May in their respective years. 

Read more about coronavirus statistics here https://leedsnow.co.uk/wp-admin/post-new.php?post_type=post&jetpack-copy=39905


Despite a nationwide lockdown, research shows that crime statistics were the highest in 2020 in comparison to 2019 and 2021. When divided into categories, crimes of a violent and sexual nature are the highest with anti-social behavour close behind.

Anti-social behaviour is prominent in Leeds and by area Leeds East has a significantly higher amount of reported crimes.

More information here Read more about coronavirus statistics here https://leedsnow.co.uk/wp-admin/post-new.php?post_type=post&jetpack-copy=39905


Due to poor economic conditions caused by over a year of business closures and pandemic related money-loss the job market has changed. As predicted, the amount of job vacancies dropped drastically in 2020, while the nation was in lockdown and the majority of staff across the country were in a furlough. People were reluctant to return / go to work due to the safety risks associated yet when restrictions eased the data shows an increase in available job roles. In fact in 2021, the number of job vacancies skyrocketed in comparison to previous years, reaching over 1,100,000 with 300,000 more jobs available in September of 2021 than 2019. 

There have been fears surrounding the long-term effect of the pandemic on the job market and economy. A recruitment officer said “This year has been the hardest year in my recruitment history”.

Since the start of the pandemic from March 2020 to March 2021 figures show that unemployment rate has increased by more than double according to the office of national statistics. 

The graph below shows the rapid increase of the total unemployment rate in Leeds, the increase in rate began in March 2020 and peaked in September 2020 with the total unemployment rate being 36,515 people.  

Rebecca Owens a Higher Executive Officer at Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) said that during the national pandemic in 2020: 

“We had to expand our estates to make sure we could offer the service to take in to account, people in Leeds who were impacted [by the pandemic] … and still support our customers in our face to face.” 

In order to tackle unemployment, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has introduced a new scheme to boost employment rate by actively bringing employers into the premises and starting the recruitment there. 

Read more here Read more about coronavirus statistics here https://leedsnow.co.uk/wp-admin/post-new.php?post_type=post&jetpack-copy=39905


Vaccination is the country’s first defence in fighting the covid-19 pandemic, our analysis dives deeper into the statistics to understand the general public’s attitude towards vaccination. 

A notable trend in the vaccination data is the lower number of people getting their second dose however we must consider the allocated time period necessary to wait between the doses. 

More females than males than males have gotten both doses.

Out of the numerous vaccine options AstraZeneca is the one with the highest uptake, over 180,000 people were immunised by AstraZeneca, compared to a meagre 18,000 that received Modena. 

For more vaccination information click here Read more about coronavirus statistics here https://leedsnow.co.uk/wp-admin/post-new.php?post_type=post&jetpack-copy=39905

Traffic and Air Pollution

There is a substantial drop in road traffic from March 2020 to April 2020, by almost three million cars. Paradoxically, the number of cyclists rose in this period, suggesting that during the initial lockdown, people where actually obeying the rules and where more eager to get some much-needed exercise.

Read more about traffic here https://leedsnow.co.uk/wp-admin/post-new.php?post_type=post& https://leedsnow.co.uk/wp-admin/post-new.php?post_type=post&jetpack-copy=39905

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