Number claiming Jobseeker's Allowance doubles in Northamptonshire during Covid-19 pandemic

Northampton and Wellingborough worst hit with above national average number of jobless seeking benefit

Tuesday, 15th September 2020, 4:12 pm
Updated Tuesday, 15th September 2020, 4:16 pm

Latest figures show the number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance has more than doubled in Northamptonshire during the coronavirus pandemic.

Office for National Statistics estimates published on Tuesday put the number of claimants in the county at 3,563. The equivalent figure in March was 1,594.

Northampton and Wellingborough are the worst-hit areas with above the national average number of claimants.

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Numbers claiming Jobseeker's Allowance have more than doubled in Northamptonshire. Photo: Getty Images

Northampton has 1,457 claimants and Wellingborough 495 — both representing 1.0 per cent of the working population. The average for all of England is 0.9 per cent.

Northampton's figure has risen from 725 in March while Wellingborough's is up from 258 five months ago.

Corby has seen the biggest rise among the seven county boroughs and districts, up from 78 to 323 — more than 400 per cent.

East Northamptonshire has also seen a huge rise from 100 claimants to 330 but the overall figure is still low at 0.6 per cent.

Numbers claiming Jobseeker's Allowance in all seven Northamptonshire boroughs and districts

The UK's national unemployment figure, also announced today, rose to 4.1 per cent in three months to July to just over 1.4million.

The number of people who are unemployed is not the same as those claiming Jobseeker's Allowance.

Unemployment figures include people who have looked for work in the past four weeks and are ready to start work in the next two weeks. People who are still out of work but starting a job in the next two weeks are also unemployed.

Claimant count looks at the number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance, and people out of work claiming Universal Credit — although not all people claiming this benefit are unemployed and not all unemployed people can claim the allowance.

How the numbers have risen in Northamptonshire this year

For example, some low paid part-time workers can claim and some out-of-work Universal Credit claimants are not required to look for work.

ONS director of economic statistics Darren Morgan said: “Some effects of the pandemic on the labour market were beginning to unwind in July as parts of the economy reopened.

"Fewer workers were away on furlough and average hours rose. The number of job vacancies continued to recover into August, too.

“Nonetheless, with the number of employees on the payroll down again in August and both unemployment and redundancies sharply up in July, it is clear that coronavirus is still having a big impact on the world of work.”