The figures for April, released by the Department for Employment earlier today, showed a large increase in the number of unemployed locally with 2,570 claimants – up over 1,500 on the March figure. Nationally, there was an increase in the number of unemployed of over 800,000 taking the figure over 2million.
Mr Jones commented:
Countries across the world have seen huge jumps in unemployment as part of the shockwave coronavirus has delivered to the global economy. The UK is not alone but that does not make the figures any less worrying.
In our area we have had traditionally low unemployment typically around 1 per cent of the workforce. That figure is now just over 4 per cent of the working age population. In terms of young people the figure has increased dramatically with 370 unemployed between the ages of 18 and 24 – up 220 on the previous month.
Unemployment in the Harrogate, Knaresborough and Boroughbridge is still a full percentage point lower than the national average which stands at 5.1 per cent.
Mr Jones continued:
It would be wrong to view these figures as a one-month phenomenon. As the effect of lockdown continues to run through our economy, as furloughing ends and as lockdown eases we are likely to see more shocks in the unemployment figures.
Getting people back to work safely, increasing productivity, re-energising industry, prioritising good growth and adapting our economy to the new realities of the coronavirus world need to be a national mission for our country.