Blackpool tops list of areas hit hardest by Covid jobs bloodbath

Blackpool tops list of areas hit hardest by Covid jobs bloodbath

August 11, 2020

‘Unemployment map’ of Britain: Blackpool tops list of twenty areas hit hardest by Covid jobs bloodbath as number of people on UK company payrolls drops 730,000 since lockdown and benefits claims hit 2.7million

  • Blackpool topped list of areas where working-aged residents claim state support
  • 12.3% of the population are claiming – an increase of 5.1% since March
  • Figures also show number of people on company payrolls has fallen by 730,000

The parts of Britain that are claiming the most Government help since lockdown started have been revealed. 

Blackpool topped the list of areas where working-aged residents claim Universal Credit, with 12.3% of the population, representing an increase of 5.1% since March. 

Birmingham is next with 10.9%, with Thanet third on 10.5%, then Wolverhampton on 10.4%, Middlesbrough on 10.3% and Haringey on 10.3%.

It comes as figures show the number of people on company payrolls has fallen by 730,000 since lockdown –  as employment saw the biggest drop in a decade.

In the three months to June, the number of those in work decreased by 220,000 – the largest quarterly slump since 2009. Total hours worked slumped by a fifth over the quarter to the lowest level since 1994.

Meanwhile, the numbers on payroll tumbled another 114,000 in July, as the claimant count – which includes some people who are in work – increased again to reach 2.7million. 

Blackpool topped the list of areas where working-aged residents claim Universal Credit, with 12.3% of the population, representing an increase of 5.1% since March. 

Among those areas receiving the most Government help, Haringey saw the biggest increase in claims between March and July.

Newham, Brent and Barking and Dagenham were next on the list of areas with the greatest increases. 

Of the UK’s regions, London had the highest percentage of claimants, 7.8%, followed by the North East of England on 7.5%; the West Midlands on 7.3%; the North West on 7.2%; and Scotland 6.4%.

Wales has 6.2% of the population claiming; the East Midlands has 5.7%; the East of England 5.6%; while the South East, the South West and Northern Ireland are the lowest, all on 5.3%, the data shows.


The 20 highest areas for Universal Credit claims, as a percentage of population, according to Government data released in August 2020:

Blackpool: 12.3%

Birmingham: 10.9%

Thanet: 10.5%

Wolverhampton: 10.4%

Middlesbrough: 10.3%

Haringey: 10.3%

Barking and Dagenham: 10.3%

Brent: 9.9%

Hull: 9.7%

Newham: 9.7%

Oldham: 9.6%

Waltham Forest: 9.5%

South Tyneside: 9.5%

Hartlepool: 9.4%

Bradford: 9.3%

Sandwell: 9.3%

Ealing: 9.3%

Hackney: 9.1%

Lewisham: 9.1%

Bunley: 9.1%

Underlining the misery, store chain Debenhams has announced that it is cutting 2,500 roles. 

However, analysts warned the grim news is the tip of the iceberg, as the full effects of lockdown have so far been masked by the government’s massive support schemes. 

The latest figures today showed that 9.6million jobs have been furloughed, with the Treasury paying out £33.8billion in subisidies. 

Many people appear to have chosen to stay economically ‘inactive’ rather than hunt for work – meaning they remain outside the headline unemployment figures.

Figures released tomorrow are due to confirm that the UK has formally entered a recession – with a second consecutive quarter of GDP contracting. The Bank of England expects the fall to be as much as 21 per cent.

Boris Johnson said everyone knew the country was in for a ‘bumpy’ ride, but insisted the government was ready to make ‘colossal’ investments in the future.  

ONS economist Jonathan Athow said: ‘The labour market continues recent trends, with a fall in employment and significantly reduced hours of work as many people are furloughed. 

‘Figures from our main survey show there has been a rise in people without a job and not looking for one, though wanting to work. 

‘In addition, there are still a large number of people who say they are working no hours and getting zero pay.

‘The falls in employment are greatest among the youngest and oldest workers, along with those in lower-skilled jobs.

‘Vacancies numbers began to recover in July, especially in small businesses and sectors such as hospitality, but demand for workers remains depressed.’  

The ONS said that around 7.5million people were temporarily away from work in June this year, most of them on the Government’s furlough scheme.

Around three million of these had been away for three months or more.

Some 300,000 people in the UK were away from work because of the pandemic but getting no pay last month. However, that figure had been over half a million in April and May.

Some 730,000 fewer people are now on the payroll than in March before the country went into lockdown to combat the killer disease

The latest ONS figures showed the average number of hours worked per week has stayed flat overall – although there was a slight bump for the self-employed

Job vacancies showed slight signs of recovery in July – but are still far lower than during the credit crunch

Latest figures show that 9.6million jobs have been covered by the government’s furlough scheme since the crisis began

Employment saw the biggest fall in a decade in the three months to June as coronavirus hit.

Official figures showed the number in work decreased by 220,000 – the largest quarterly decrease since 2009. 

The 0.2 per cent drop comes after a long period after the credit crunch in which employment levels have hit repeated highs. 

The employment figures are still up 0.3 per cent year on year. And unemployment stayed flat, as the government’s support schemes and a rise in inactivity masked the true effects of lockdown.

Workers aged under 24 and those over 50 were the worst hit by the fall.   

The total hours worked slumped by a fifth over the quarter to the lowest level since 1994. 

Redundancies were up by 27,000 quarter on quarter to 134,000, in another sign of what is to come. 

The claimant count – which includes people receiving in-work benefits – increased by 94,400 to 2.7million last month. It is up 117 per cent, or 1.4 million, since March. 

Total weekly hours worked in the UK decreased by a record 191.3million, or 18.4 per cent, in the quarter to June compared to the previous three months.

It was the largest quarterly decrease since estimates began in 1971, with total hours hitting the lowest level since 1994. 

On a visit to a hospital construction site in Hereford today, the PM said: ‘We always knew that this was going to be a very tough time for people. 

‘What we are going to have to do is to keep going with our plan to ‘build, build, build’ and build back better, and ensure that we make the colossal investments that we can now make in the UK economy to drive jobs and growth.

‘Obviously what we want to see is a return to economic vitality and health. Some parts of the economy are undoubtedly showing great resilience but clearly there are going to be bumpy months ahead and a long, long way to go.’ 

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said of the latest figures: ‘Today’s labour market stats make it clear that our unprecedented support measures, including the furlough and self-employed support schemes, are working to safeguard millions of jobs and livelihoods that could otherwise have been lost.

‘I’ve always been clear that we can’t protect every job, but through our Plan For Jobs we have a clear plan to protect, support and create jobs to ensure that nobody is left without hope.’

Some 9.6million jobs have been furloughed costing £33.8billion  

Some 9.6million jobs have been propped up by the government’s furlough scheme during the coronavirus crisis, figures showed today.

Treasury data showed the scale of the support being given by the state, with 1.2million firms putting in claims worth £33.8billion since March.

Another 2.7million claims have been filed for self-employed grants, totalling £7.8billion.  

Fears are mounting of a ‘bonfire of jobs’ amid warnings a third of firms are planning to lay off staff this autumn.

Many of the cuts are set to come from hospitality businesses such as hotels, restaurants and cafes, as well as shops that were already on the brink before the pandemic.

The Bank of England predicted last week that unemployment will rise by a million by the end of the year. 

Labour has been demanding the government ditches plans to scrap the furlough scheme entirely from October, forcing employers to take on the full costs of staff wages again. 

Shadow work and pensions secretary Jonathan Reynolds said: ‘Labour has repeatedly warned the Government their one-size-fits-all approach will lead to job losses. These figures confirm what we feared – Britain is in the midst of a jobs crisis.

‘It is extremely worrying that this increase in unemployment has hit older workers, the self-employed and part-time workers hardest.

‘The Government must wake up to the scale of this crisis and put an end to this jobs crisis, and adopt a more flexible approach targeted at the sectors who need it most.’

Rebecca McDonald, senior economist at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, said: ‘Preventing falling levels of employment turning into a surge in poverty must be a national priority.’

Debenhams to axe 2,500 jobs 

Debenhams is cutting 2,500 jobs as the high street bloodbath continues.

A spokesman for the store chain said its trading was ‘ahead of expectations’ and had successfully reopened 124 stores post-lockdown.

‘At the same time, the trading environment is clearly a long way from returning to normal and we have to ensure our store costs are aligned with realistic expectations,’ the spokesman said.

‘Those colleagues affected by redundancy have been informed and we are very grateful to them for their service and commitment to Debenhams.

‘Such difficult decisions are being taken by many retailers right now, and we will continue to take all necessary steps to give Debenhams every chance of a viable future.’

Federation of Small Businesses national chairman Mike Cherry said: ‘The success of the job retention scheme has kept our employment figures healthy over the past few months but reality is now starting to hit home.

‘As our economy unlocks, many thousands of people will be looking for work over the next year. That’s why a focus on job creation – not just retention – is so critical.

‘In light of today’s figures, the future of the job retention scheme will need to be reviewed closely. The option of a meaningful extension to the furloughing initiative should be kept open, especially now local lockdowns are a fact of life and a meaningful second spike in coronavirus infections is possible.’

Yael Selfin, chief economist at KPMG UK, said: ‘As the Job Retention Scheme unwinds, we expect unemployment to rise quickly in the fourth quarter. That could see unemployment average over 6 per cent this year compared to only 3.9 per cent at present.

‘Government needs to step in and help those who are likely to lose their job retrain for new openings in different sectors. It is an opportunity to upskill a large section of the UK labour market, providing better prospects for the future.’ 

The Bank of England’s latest forecast says the economy will shrink by 9.5 per cent this year, making it the worst downturn in a century. 

GDP figures due to be released this week are set to show that the UK has entered a technical recession – with two consecutive quarters of contraction. The Bank of England predicts that the downturn will be the worst in a hundred years (chart pictured)

Source: Read Full Article