2020 unemployment figures in the Channel Islands significantly higher than previous year

More than 1,900 people in the Channel Islands were out of work in December according to the latest figures.The job losses come as many businesses have been unable to continue normal operations during the coronavirus pandemic. The latest figures in Jersey show that 1,400 people were actively seeking work in December 2020.

This is 180 fewer than in September 2020, but 520 higher when compared with the previous year.

In Guernsey, 506 people were actively seeking work in December. This is a decrease of 46 compared to the previous month but an increase of 170 compared to the previous year.Politicians in both islands say economic uncertainty will affect the jobs market for some time.

In light of the pandemic, I think I'm delighted that we've seen yet another reduction of about 50 people from the unemployment list over the last month. But yeah, as I say I'm not being complacent. I think there are challenges ahead and I think the States are not going to have to take their eye off this ball.

Deputy Peter Roffey, Guernsey's President, Committee for Employment & Social Security

We've got to be realistic, we've got to know if some careers or workplace goes, we've got to be able to ask people look what's your other interest and we've got support for that, we fought for that in the Government plans.

Deputy Judy Martin, Jersey's Social Security Minister

Jersey's Citizens Advice Bureau say despite support from the Government the forecast for unemployment in the island continues to look bleak.

I think what we were seeing towards the tail end of last year, was that the picture was slowly improving but of course with the further restrictions starting to bite again the unemployment picture is unfortunately starting to not look so rosy, so what we're seeing and what we expect to see, not just with these figures but in the coming weeks is the unemployment figure starting to rise again.

Malcolm Ferey, Jersey's Citizens Advice Bureau