Here are the areas of Yorkshire that have seen the biggest rises in unemployment

Around 730,000 UK workers have been removed from the payrolls of British companies since March when the coronavirus lockdown began, according to new data from the Office for National Statistics.

The ONS said that employment rates have continued to decline in the last month, as another 81,000 jobs fell off payrolls across the country.

Yet the official unemployment rate is not rising. To be counted among the unemployed, workers need to be actively looking for a new job, which many have decided not to do yet, the ONS said.

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However, this does not mean that the people in question do not want a job, said Jonathan Athow, the ONS’s deputy national statistician for economic statistics.

The pandemic has caused widespread economic disruption.

In Yorkshire, Bradford was shown to have seen the largest rise in claimant counts in the region and the seventh highest nationally. Since March it has seen a 4.2 per cent increase in claims.

Analysis from the Centre for Cities think tank showed that the overall static picture also remains largely unchanged, with weaker city economies in the North and Midlands more likely to have higher claimant count rates than stronger city economies in the South East.

Blackpool, Hull and Birmingham are still the top three places, with claimant count rates approaching 10 per cent as a share of the working age population. This has been the case since May. Bradford and Middlesbrough had also seen large increases.

Earlier this month The Yorkshire Post revealed that parts of Yorkshire had among the highest levels of youth unemployment. “Figures from our main survey show there has been a rise in people without a job and not looking for one, though wanting to work,” he said.

Bradford

“In addition, there are still a large number of people who say they are working no hours and getting zero pay.”

He added: “The labour market continues recent trends, with a fall in employment and significantly reduced hours of work as many people are furloughed.

“The falls in employment are greatest among the youngest and oldest workers, along with those in lower-skilled jobs.

“Vacancies numbers began to recover in July, especially in small businesses and sectors such as hospitality, but demand for workers remains depressed.”

The worst of the job losses came in the beginning of the lockdown months. Many people were taken off payrolls as large parts of the economy ground to a halt in late March when Prime Minister Boris Johnson told everyone to only leave their homes to exercise or get food.

Between March and June UK workers on company payrolls dropped by 649,000, according to ONS data released last month. Most of that was weighted towards the early days of lockdown.

Experts are worried that the full extent of Britain’s jobs problems has been hidden by the Government’s furlough scheme, which promised to cover 80% of the salaries of staff who could not work because of lockdown.

These furloughed workers are still considered to be unemployed, but many worry they will have no job to come back to when the scheme winds down.

The furlough scheme ends in October, though the Government has promised a £1,000 per employee bonus to any company that brings back furloughed staff and keeps paying them until January.

The British Chambers of Commerce Head of Economics Suren Thiru said: “While the headline data continues to lag behind the reality on the ground, the decline in the number of employees on payrolls and hours worked is further evidence of the damage being done to the UK labour market by the Coronavirus pandemic.

“The furlough scheme has been successful in preserving millions of jobs. However, with firms continuing to face a perfect storm of increased costs, reduced demand, and diminished cash reserves, unemployment is likely to surge as the government support schemes wind down, unless action is taken.

“A significant spike in job losses would be a major drag on any recovery, stifling consumer spending and reducing the productive capacity of the UK economy.

“To help businesses recruit and retain staff, more needs to be done to reduce the overall cost of employment and prevent substantial redundancies. This could include significant expansion of the Employment Allowance and a cut in employer National Insurance Contributions.”

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