Unemployment increases by 10,000 in the West Country during lockdown

A total of 98,000 people were registered as unemployed between March and May in the West Country - an increase of 10,000 from the three months before, new figures show.

The sobering reality is that this number will increase significantly in the next few months especially as businesses are asked to start contributing to the cost of furloughing workers and the whole furlough scheme ends in October.

Many firms across the South West are already consulting on redundancies and the furloughing scheme has saved many jobs during lockdown, but, as businesses now start opening up managers are working out how they can claw back cash lost due to the pandemic.

The Chancellor Rishi Sunak says he is trying to save as many jobs as he can.

The number of people who claim Universal Credit and other out of work benefits fell slightly in June, which suggests some people returned to work as the retail sector reopened, however the number of claimants is still far higher than before the pandemic.


Universal Credit claimants in the West Country:

75,800

March

146,500

April

183,800

May

176,700

June


The Chancellor says he is trying to save as many jobs as he can, with incentives for bosses to being people back from furlough, attempting to create more new jobs for younger workers and buy allowing the furlough scheme to become more flexible in the next few months.

But, the Government also accepts that it will not be able to save every job lost as a result of the pandemic.

The speed of the economic recovery will largely dictate how high the unemployment rate gets in the West Country, and the Government will continue to encourage us all to get out and about this summer and start spending money.

However the economic impact of Coronavirus is likely to last for some time causing huge uncertainty for millions of workers.