More than 50 unemployed people chase every vacancy in parts of UK

More than 50 unemployed people are chasing every vacancy in parts of the UK, a study suggests.

By Claire Lewis
Friday, 19th June 2020, 11:20 am
Updated Friday, 19th June 2020, 11:21 am

The worst-hit areas include Broxtowe, Bolsover, Rhondda and Telford, according to the research.

Former industrial and inner city areas are seeing an average of 20 people claiming unemployment-related benefits for every job vacancy, up from around four people per vacancy before the coronavirus crisis began, said the Institute for Employment Studies report.

Sign up to our Business newsletter

One of Sheffield's job centres

By contrast, in more affluent areas of England it is estimated there are on average five unemployed people chasing every job.

More than a third of all vacancies advertised are now in health, education and social work, compared with just one in five before the crisis began.

Tony Wilson, director of the IES, said: “This crisis has affected all parts of the economy, but it's clear that it is hitting some places harder than others.

“Many of these areas were struggling before this crisis began and are in even more trouble now. We need to be doing much more both to support employment demand in the short term - for example by cutting employer National Insurance - and in the longer term to support new industries and jobs.

“There are tentative signs that hiring may now be starting to pick up as businesses start to reopen, but these are very early signs.

“New vacancies are still at barely a third of the levels they were a year ago, and there's a lot of people working fewer hours than they'd want or wondering if they will have jobs to go back to after furlough.”

Former business secretary Sir Vince Cable said: “This confirms what was suspected - that the emerging unemployment crisis is shaping up to be worse than anything experienced in living memory and worse than the 1980s.”

Minister for employment Mims Davies said: “We know it's a challenging jobs market for many at the moment and some sectors have been hit particularly hard. That's why we've taken unprecedented action to support our economy during this emergency, protecting millions of jobs and thousands of businesses through the furlough scheme, grants, loans and tax cuts.”