Unemployment more than doubles in Richmondshire during pandemic

Photo: JJ Ellison.

Unemployment has more than doubled in Richmondshire in a year, according to new figures.

The latest data from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) shows that the Universal Credit alternative claimant count – which records people who are unemployed and searching for work – was 1,013 in April — up 538 on the same time in 2020.

A total of 242 of those seeking work were aged 18 to 24, which is an increase of 179 on the previous year.

In total, 3,257 people in the district were claiming Universal Credit, although not all of these were out of work.

Lesley Trewhitt, DWP employer and partnership manager for Richmond and Northallerton, said staff were working hard in both Richmond and Northallerton Jobcentres to link employers with suitable candidates for their vacancies, and to ensure local people have the skills to do these roles.

She added: “Work Coaches working from all sites will be able to decide how best to engage with customers, and to choose the best and most appropriate channel.

“Work Coaches will use their knowledge of the customer and the local situation to decide whether or not this should be face-to-face, on the phone or online, bearing in mind the latest guidance on both social distancing and guidance on opening offices in line with the local Covid-19 alert levels.”

People in Richmondshire who have been made redundant or are under threat of redundancy, are being invited to a free online event providing information about the the support that’s available, and offering expert advice that can help them find a job.

The North Yorkshire Redundancy Support webinar is taking place on Thursday, May 20, 11am to 12noon, and is being run by Jobcentre Plus in partnership with the National Careers Service and other local service providers.

The number of people on furlough in North Yorkshire is among the highest across the whole of the North East, and this online event is a new approach by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to target specific support to a large cohort of people, without the need to gather in a physical space.

A DWP spokesperson said: “Despite the disruption caused by the coronavirus outbreak, there are still jobs out there to apply for, and this event will help people to start accessing these opportunities.”