UK unemployment falls as figures reveal Hull as one of worst in Yorkshire for benefit claimants

Almost 10 per cent of working adults in Hull are claiming benefits according to today's unemployment figures - it is one of the worst affected areas across Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire. 

And younger people continue to bear the brunt of the jobs crisis caused by the pandemic.

But overall there has been a fall in the jobless rate for the first time since the start of the coronovirus crisis last year.

And job vacancies - especially in hospitality - have gone up dramatically since the easing of lockdown restrictions.

A project by CatZero, a North Lincolnshire charity, has been helping people get back into work, like Jo Watson, she says she feels lucky to be working again after more than a decade.

Being at home all the time and living on benefits, it's not easy. it's not an example I want to set for my children either

Jo Watson, care worker

Jo accepts she is one of the lucky ones to get a job during the pandemic when more than 800,000 across the UK have lost theirs.

In the three months to February, more than 225,000 people in Yorkshire & northern Lincolnshire were claiming benefits. That is 6.7 per cent of the working population

Hull has one of the highest number out of work across the region - almost 10 per cent (9.8%) of working adults are on the claimant count.

And with the under 35s accounting for 80 per cent of job cuts during the pandemic, CatZone says help is needed more than ever.

To stop that churn of people going onto courses, falling off courses. We're looking for meaningful employment for them. Or training courses to get them up and running, get them on the right track

Pete Tighe, CatZero charity

The unemployment rate in the UK has fallen to 4.9% in the three months to February, official figures have shown.

However the number of workers on payroll dropped for the first time in four months. Five million people are also still on furlough.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has extended the furlough scheme to support workers through to the end of September and experts predict unemployment will ramp up once it ends.In response to the latest jobs data, Mr Sunak said: “Protecting jobs and the economy has been my main focus since this pandemic began – through the furlough scheme alone we have protected 11.2 million jobs.

“As we progress on our road map to recovery I will continue to put people at the heart of the Government’s response through our Plan for Jobs – supporting and creating jobs across the country.”