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MP offers support as job seeker figures rise

19th May 2020

West Worcestershire MP Harriett Baldwin has offered her support to local job seekers as the latest figures confirm the expected rise in unemployment across the country.

The coronavirus pandemic led to many companies laying off staff and today’s Office of National Statistics report shows that the number of people in West Worcestershire claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance or Universal Credit has risen by nearly 1,000 in a month.

The unemployment rate is 3.9 per cent, below the national average, which is now 5.1 per cent. The ONS reports that there were 2080 claimants in West Worcestershire in April.

Harriett commented: “The economy has had a big shock with many businesses temporarily out of action, but I’m pleased the Government acted swiftly to implement schemes to protect jobs and livelihoods.

“This has meant that eight million jobs have been protected, two million self-employed people have been supported, nearly 500,000 bounceback loans have been approved and over £7 billion of business interruption loans have been agreed.

“Some sectors, like retailing, are actually in growth and we’ve seen the major supermarkets taking on more staff to meet extra demand. We’re also heading into the busy season for farmers and food producers and there is a huge demand for pickers in the coming months.

“There’s also a really helpful job finder scheme which has been set up by Worcestershire County Council to help people bounce back.

“This is very still sad news for every person who has been affected, and I and my team have been working tirelessly to help people with job-related concerns or claim issues. Any local person who needs assistance, particularly with the benefits system, can email me and I will do my best to help.”

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