As the government's roadmap out of lockdown has given many people economic hope, there are some that may continue to suffer. Figures show unemployment has hit a five year high.
Michael Pearce from Nottingham was made redundant in August. He says he's struggling with the lack of opportunity having applied for a thousand jobs, with no success.
He was let go from his office administration job at the Broadmarsh Shopping Centre in Nottingham, which is currently undergoing redevelopment.
Since then, he says he's applied for at least a thousand jobs.
I'm 57 years of age, so I think a lot of opportunities are not open to people like me, even though I'm trying. But I pick myself up and carry on because I think of other people out there who probably are in a worse place than I am. At least I can still look for a job.
Nathan Lenson from Swadlincote in South Derbyshire is in a similar position. He says supporting his family is a constant worry since being laid off in December.
I've got four kids at home, which obviously really impacted the whole situation. It got me a bit down to be honest with my mental health starting to kick in because obviously I couldn't provide for my family and everything like that. I go home and talk to my wife about it all, it's just a really sad situation.
East Midlands unemployment figures October - December 2020
of those are under 25
I'm very mindful as Employment Minister that behind every statistic is a job, livelihood, family, a sector. I do want to say to people listening that there are opportunities out there. It might not be in your usual sector and there are opportunities because of Covid. What we're doing as a government as we reopen we get that road map right, we give opportunities to all sectors to move forward.