Andrew Gwynne, MP for Denton and Reddish, has called for a Back to Work Budget after figures released showed a considerable increase in unemployment in the constituency and the North West region as a whole.
Up to 31 May 2020, 11,400 jobs had been furloughed in Denton and Reddish and there were 3,950 Universal Credit claimants, up 2,000 from when the lockdown began.
Across the North West, claimants for Universal Credit and other unemployment benefits rose by 112% to 348,794, showing the scale of the economic challenge facing the region.
Although an imperfect measure of unemployment, these figures show a severely strained jobs market and an urgent need for a Back to Work Budget.
The Government has reportedly postponed its next full budget until autumn, raising concerns a slow and muddled health response is now being followed by a slow and muddled response to saving jobs.
Vacancies also fell by 60% across the UK between February and May, with steeper falls in some sectors. This includes:
- 80% fall in construction, employing 4.6% of workers in the North West
- 94% and 70% falls in motor trades and retail, employing around 16.5% of workers in the North West
- 94% fall in accommodation and food services, employing 7.0% of workers in the North West
- 85% in arts, entertainment and recreation, employing 2.5% of workers in the North West
Andrew Gwynne said:
“These are really concerning figures. In the 15 years that I have represented Denton and Reddish in Parliament, the claimant count has never been so high.
“The figures show that we need a Back to Work Budget to protect jobs and livelihoods across the country without delay.
“The support that has been put in place for both businesses and workers has been welcome and it is essential that this vital support is not withdrawn too soon.”