One in ten on benefits in South Tyneside

One in ten of the working age population in South Tyneside are claiming unemployment benefit, according to new figures.

Wednesday, 12th August 2020, 4:01 pm
One in ten workers in South Tyneside are on job-related benefits

Office for National Statistics data shows 8,875 people were claiming out-of-work benefits in South Tyneside as of July 9 – compared to 5,810 in early March.

That represents 9.5% of the working-age population – up from 6.2%.

The figures include those on Jobseeker’s Allowance and some Universal Credit claimants – who are unemployed and seeking work or employed but with low earnings.

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Across the UK, the claimant count more than doubled to 2.7 million in July compared to March.

Anti-poverty charity the Joseph Rowntree Foundation warns many could be facing “grinding pressure and uncertainty” about how to make ends meet as Government job support schemes wind down.

The ONS cautioned that changes to Universal Credit in response to the virus mean more people could get the benefits while still being employed, which could affect the figures.

Separate ONS data shows around 730,000 UK workers have been removed from company payrolls since March, when the Covid-19 lockdown began.

The official unemployment rate is not rising, staying at 3.9% for April to June – the latest period for which data is available.

Rebecca McDonald, senior economist at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, said; “These figures suggest many are facing grinding pressure and uncertainty about how to pay their rent, put food on the table or find a new job.

“These figures cover a period when the full furlough scheme was still in place and millions were protected from the full force of the economic storm.

“As furlough is wound down, the Government must live up to its commitment to do whatever it takes to support employers, create new good jobs and equip jobseekers with the skills they need to access opportunities.”

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said the latest labour market figures showed government support measures were working to safeguard millions of jobs.

He added: “I’ve always been clear that we can’t protect every job but we have a clear plan to protect, support and create jobs to ensure that nobody is left without hope.”