Economic impact of coronavirus pandemic on Fife town detailed
The economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic on Glenrothes to date, has been detailed in a new report.
The report was delivered to councillors at the Glenrothes Area Committee, although it was noted that the full-scale impact of the pandemic is still to emerge.
While there has been a huge rise in claimants in the town, there were also numerous positives in the report,
The claimant rate in Glenrothes has almost doubled in the last year, rising from 3.4 per cent in January 2020 to 5.9 per cent one year later.
While the greatest number of new claimants is men aged between 25-49, the biggest proportion increase was among young women and women over 50.
Despite the rise, the claimant rate is the same as the Scottish average and lower than the Fife average.
However, the report detailed that the rate was only 5.1 per cent in Glenrothes North, Leslie and Markinch, with higher figures for Glenrothes Central and Thornton (6.4 per cent) and Glenrothes West and Kinglassie (6.5 per cent).
The report did include some positives for the area.
The percentage of 16-64 year olds with no qualifications sits at 6.2 per cent, lower than the Fife and Scottish averages.
Glenrothes was also described as the “engine room of the mid Fife economy”, with 8000 of the 12,000 public administration, defence and social security jobs in Fife being based in Glenrothes. 4000 of the 14k manufacturing jobs in Fife are also based in the town. It was noted that these two areas were among the least hit by the pandemic.
Accommodation and food services, and arts, entertainment and recreational businesses are amongst the hardest hit by the current pandemic.
It was also noted that the employment rate in Glenrothes is above the Fife and Scottish averages.
However, the average weekly earnings is £523, lower than the Scottish average (£595) and the report noted that Glenrothes has the highest proportion in Fife of working age residents in low skilled jobs.
Cllr John Beare said: “I appreciate the depth of the report and appreciate it’s a look back, and that it is in the months ahead that we will get a better grasp of its (the pandemic’s) impact.”