Local unemployment rises as jobless figures soar across the UK

Local unemployment rises as jobless figures soar across the UK
Rise in local unemployment - Job Centre (stock image)

Acccoridng to the Office for National Statistics, in December 2020 the number of people claiming jobless benefits in Tunbridge Wells rose to 3,160.

This is up from the previous month’s figure of 3,080, but lower than the pandemic peak of 3,325 that was set in August 2020 but more than three times the rate before the crisis hit when only around 1,100 in the borough were unemployed.

Around 4.4 per cent of people in Tunbridge Wells are now out of work, but across the UK, unemployment has soared to its highest level for more than four years as more than 200,000 workers lost their jobs in the three months to November.

The national unemployment rate reached 5 per cent in the quarter for the first time since early 2016.

As the number of unemployed rose to a five-year high of 1.72 million, redundancies also surged to a new record and the growth in vacancies halved as the second wave of the pandemic struck.

Experts said the Government’s move to extend the furlough scheme to April has helped cushion the blow, with tax data showing employees on company payrolls rose by 52,000 – or 0.2 per cent – between November and December.

Employment also fell at its slowest pace since March, down 88,000 at 32.5 million.

But 828,000 workers have now been dropped from UK payrolls since February, before the pandemic hit.

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