View all newsletters
Sign up to our newsletters

Support 110 years of independent journalism.

  1. Science & Tech
  2. Coronavirus
19 May 2020updated 04 Sep 2021 12:29pm

UK unemployment claims jump 69 per cent in April, a record rise

By Nicu Calcea

The number of people claiming UK unemployment benefits increased to 2.1 million in April 2020, a monthly rise of 856,500 and the highest level since 1996.

The figures, released this morning by the Department of Work & Pensions (DWP), show that the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance or searching for work under Universal Credit rules increased by 69.1 per cent over the month. This is the largest jump the DWP has ever recorded.

Rural and tourist areas have been hardest hit. Claims are triple or quadruple what they were a year ago in some parts of Cumbria, Devon and Snowdonia.

The region with the largest rise in claims was the south-west, where the numbers almost doubled. Meanwhile, the West Midlands saw the smallest increase, of 50.9 per cent.

A breakdown of the figures by parliamentary constituency showed the claimant count stood at 1,690 in Westmorland and Lonsdale in Cumbria, more than quadruple the figure in April last year.

East Devon was up 265 per cent, Dwyfor Meirionnydd in Snowdonia was up 259 per cent and Central Devon rose 249 per cent on a year-on-year basis.

Around 1.5 million people claimed Universal Credit between 13 March and 9 April alone, over six times more than last year.

This figure doesn’t reflect just unemployment: some self-employed and furloughed employees can also claim Universal Credit.

Hiring has also suffered from the coronavirus lockdown. The number of vacancies available has gone from around 865,000 in April 2019 to only 351,000 this year, meaning those without a job will find it even more difficult to find work.

Content from our partners
Future proofing the NHS
Where do we get the money to fix the world's biggest problems? – with ONE
Labour's health reforms can put patients first

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via saturdayread.substack.com The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via morningcall.substack.com Our Thursday ideas newsletter, delving into philosophy, criticism, and intellectual history. The best way to sign up for The Salvo is via thesalvo.substack.com Stay up to date with NS events, subscription offers & updates. Weekly analysis of the shift to a new economy from the New Statesman's Spotlight on Policy team. The best way to sign up for The Green Transition is via spotlightonpolicy.substack.com
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
THANK YOU