Campaigners have warned dire predictions for job losses as a result of the coronavirus pandemic could be “catastrophic”.
New research has forecast Dundee could have the highest percentage of businesses failing as a direct result of the global pandemic in the whole of the UK and have the highest rate of people losing their jobs in Scotland.
The research by Professor Rob Brown from St Andrews University and Professor Marc Cowling from Derby University says this could mean 286 businesses in Dundee failing in the months to come, causing 3,114 workers to become unemployed.
Professor Cowling said: “We looked at businesses who were not effectively saving any money in the good times, so those with no profits to save and those who earned a profit but didn’t keep any of it for a rainy day.
“And those who had no cash or rainy day savings when the coronavirus lockdown hit are at risk of running out of cash.
“Generally that is the biggest cause of business failure.
“Hospitality will fail quicker and some of these businesses will have already failed.
“Lockdown two has been the real killer because this is the nail in the coffin for the lucky ones who got through the first lockdown.
“This is a ‘black swan event’ because it is atypical even for a horrible economic crisis.”
Andy Duncan from Dundee Against Austerity said the warning shows the city is “lining up for a serious catastrophe”.
He said: “Total coronavirus unemployment will not hit until about April next year because at the moment furlough is stopping a lot of the immediate redundancies.
“I am not surprised to hear these figures particularly for those in the hospitality industry it has been shocking.
“These people are being left with nowhere to turn and it is an extremely difficult time for everyone.
“Dundee is constantly hitting the highest rate of everything that is bad and we can see how these figures are concentrated in areas of deprivation and what they call low-skilled jobs.
“With Brexit as well this is lining up to be a serious catastrophe.
“Every worker is skilled at what they do even if they are called low-skilled, they contributed to everything and low-skilled workers kept our care homes running during lockdown.
“Losing those types of jobs will be catastrophic for families who only have one person working and are depending on food banks.
“These redundancies will also be a disaster for the government as well and Dundee always seems to come at the bottom of the pile.”
Meanwhile it was revealed the number of people claiming Universal Credit in Dundee rose by more than 1.3% between October 8 and November 12, with the total number of claimants now reaching 16,413.
The figure is 209 more than last month’s number, as families and workers continue to feel the economic impacts of Covid-19 restrictions.
Dundee West experienced a rise of 1.4%, which is slightly higher than Dundee East’s increase of 1.3%.