Unemployment drops in Southwest as hotel sector wakes up from lockdown

The number of unemployed people in the South West is declining as Covid restrictions relax and the hospitality sector opens up.

New government figures show that the number of unemployed people in the region is near an all-time high of 103,000, down from 11,000 in the quarter.

This means that the number of people employed in the South West is 2.7 million, an employment rate of 77%, which is higher than the UK average of 74.8%.

The unemployment rate is 3.7%, below the UK average of 4.8%, and near a record high for the region since comparable records began – down 0.4 percentage points in the quarter.

The number of alternative applicants, essentially the number of people benefiting from universal credit, stands at 151,305, or 20% less than the same period last year. This shows that the economy is recovering from the worst of the pandemic, but is still far from what it was before Covid.

The number of alternative claimants is 92% higher than in 2016, when 72,575 people were receiving benefits in the South West.

Sam Knuckey, virtual work coach team leader for the Department for Work and Pensions in Cornwall, said year-over-year numbers are not only better for the South West, but in its parts constituent parts, notably Devon, Cornwall and Plymouth. She said much of the recent improvement was due to pubs, restaurants, cafes and hotels making a comeback.

“The numbers look very good,” she said. “In Plymouth the number of applicants is down 21% from the same period last year, in Cornwall it is down 25% year over year.

“Because we are so welcoming and the holidays are run it helps,” she said. “The hotel business is booming in Devon and Cornwall. “

Ms Knuckey said there were also many vacancies, including at least 1,800 unfilled jobs in Cornwall and 2,800 in Devon.

“We have a lot of it, especially in some industries,” she said.

In Devon and Cornwall, it is healthcare where most jobs are vacant, followed by the hospitality sector, she explained. In Devon there are also many warehouse jobs available, and in Cornwall many retail positions are unfilled.

Ms Knuckey, based at Redruth Jobcentre, said there were two “Jobs Jobs Jobs Plymouth” recruiting events on July 28 and August 4, both from 10 am to 3 pm. The former is at the Manadon Sports and Community Hub of the Arygle Community Trust, the latter is at the Devonport Guildhall.

“The two events will bring together many employers from Plymouth and nationwide, some of which will provide kickstart opportunities for our young clients,” she said.

“In addition, we have provider organizations participating in the event, offering free resume advice, support in applying for positions, and help in booking fully funded courses, such as food hygiene and food hygiene courses. construction skills certificate (CSCS).

Business Live’s Southwestern business reporter is William Telford. William has over a decade of experience reporting on the business scene in Plymouth and the South West. It is based in Plymouth but covers the entire region.

To contact Guillaume:

Email: [email protected] – Phone: 01752 293116 – Phone: 07584 594052

Twitter: @WTelfordHerald – LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com– Facebook: www.facebook.com/william.telford.5473

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Nationally, between March and May, the unemployment rate fell 0.2 percentage point to 4.8%, while the employment rate rose 0.1 percentage point to 74.8 %.

Suren Thiru, head of economics at the British Chambers of Commerce ((BCC), said: “The significant increase in paid employment suggests that the UK labor market has continued to improve as the economy is gradually reopening.

“Growing demand for labor against a backdrop of an unblocking economy, rapid vaccine deployment and continued government support helped to increase wage employment in June, despite the delay until the end of the roadmap.

“The increase in the number of vacant positions confirms the ongoing struggle to hire staff. The recruitment challenges faced by companies extend far beyond temporary bottlenecks, and with many facing a growing skills gap, staff shortages can hamper any recovery.

“The reopening in July will further stimulate demand for labor. However, the UK labor market is entering a more turbulent period with unemployment likely to drift moderately higher in the near term as the leave scheme ends and those who have stopped looking for work during Covid return to the end of restrictions. “

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