UK unemployment surges due to coronavirus as worst-hit places across the country revealed
An estimated 856,500 unemployment claims were registered in April according to the Office for National Statistics – the biggest monthly rise since 1971. The overall number of unemployment benefits now stands at 2.1 million. According to the Office of National Statistics, the number of people claiming unemployment benefits rose at the quickest rate in the North East last month.
As it stands, the region’s unemployment rate has risen to nine percent while both the West Midlands and North West have seen unemployment rates rise to between seven and eight percent.
In the Yorkshire and Humber region, unemployment has also surged to over seven percent.
Blackpool’s unemployment level has risen by 3.4 percent and now stands at 8.9.
Hull has also increased by 2.8 and now stands at 8.7, the third-highest percentage increase in the UK.
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However, Liverpool has registered the second-highest increase and stands as the city with the third-highest unemployment rate in the UK.
Both Sunderland and Newcastle saw an increase of 2.5 and 2.4 percent respectively in unemployment according to the figures.
The dire statistics come as the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak stated it will take time for the UK to readjust to following the coronavirus pandemic.
He said: “It takes time for people to get back to the habits that they had, there are still restrictions in place.
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“I think in all cases it will take a little bit of time for things to get back to normal, even once we’ve reopened currently closed sectors.”
Earlier this month, the ONS reported record lows in the UK economy.
According to statistics, the UK’s GDP fell by 5.8 in March, the biggest monthly decline ever recorded by the agency.
In the first three months of the year, GDP fell by over two percent, the quarterly drop since the 2008/09 financial crash.
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Despite those figures, it is expected the economy will continue to see record lows going forward.
Jonathan Athow, deputy national statistician for economic statistics at the ONS, commented: “With the arrival of the pandemic nearly every aspect of the economy was hit in March, dragging growth to a record monthly fall.
“Services and construction saw record declines on the month with education, car sales and restaurants all falling substantially.
“Although very few industries saw growth, there were some that did including IT support and the manufacture of pharmaceuticals, soaps and cleaning products.
“The pandemic also hit trade globally, with UK imports and exports falling over the last couple of months, including a notable drop in imports from China.”
Fran Boait, executive director of Positive Money, added: “As GDP continues to fall policymakers will be increasingly tempted to accelerate the easing of emergency public health measures in order to get the economy growing again.
“There is a clear tension between this dash for growth and public health, as illustrated by the government’s eagerness to get workers back to workplaces regardless of whether it is safe.
“The evidence shows that the vast majority of the public think we should worry more about people’s health and wellbeing than GDP growth during this crisis.
“The government should not pay too much attention to today’s statistics and instead put public health ahead of private wealth.”
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