20,000 jobs could be lost in Southampton, report reveals

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More than 20 thousand jobs could be lost in Southampton due to the coronavirus crisis.

An official report published by Southampton City Council, has been called "catastrophic" by businesses.

The report said an estimated 23% of jobs in the city are "at risk".

The report was discussed by the Health and Wellbeing board at the city council on Thursday night.

The council said the hospitality sector will be worst hit, with jobs in retail and construction also badly affected.

Child poverty is another area the council say is expected to be made worse by job losses.

Southampton City Council leader, Christopher Hammond, said the council will be supporting those who face job losses and will "encourage businesses to hire local people".

He said: "We'll be doing everything we can to make sure the city comes back from this even stronger."

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Southampton Test MP, Alan Whitehead, urged the government to review the furlough scheme.

He said: "Many of these job losses will be jobs that were low paying, where people have not been able to save up much in the way of reserves. I'm worried about what's going to happen when furlough ends."

A Government spokesman said £6 billion has been invested in the welfare system to help those most in need.

Credit: ITV Meridian

Southampton Itchen MP, Royston Smith said he was "disappointed" in the City Council for putting a "back of a fag packet estimate" to the local people.

He said: "We need positive messages and optimism, not doom and gloom to get us through this pandemic."