Sarah Owen, Labour MP for Luton North is calling for a Back to Work Budget for East of England as new labour market figures show need for urgent jobs package.
Analysis of new labour market data from the ONS reveals the scale of the economic challenge facing the East of England as claimants for Universal Credit and other unemployment benefits rose by 149.53% to 219,112.
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.
Meanwhile, figures released by the Government show 24.14% of the workforce are furloughed in East of England, whilst 247,000 of the workforce are using the Self-employed Income Support Scheme.
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 5.4% of workers in the East of England
• 94% and 70% falls in motor trades and retail, employing around 15.8% of workers in the East of England
• 94% fall in accommodation and food services, employing 6.9% of workers 85% in arts, entertainment and recreation, employing 2.2% of workers in the East of England.
Figures also reveal that:
There were 219,112 people claiming UC and other unemployment benefits in the East of England in May 2020, up 149.53% from February.
This is equivalent to around 6.7% of the workforce
24.14% of the workforce are furloughed, whilst 247,000 are using the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme.
Sarah Owen, Labour MP for Luton North said:
“These figures show the Government cannot afford to delay its next full budget until after the summer and must urgently bring forward a Back to Work Budget to protect jobs and livelihoods in the East of England.
“The Government must also ensure financial support to workers such as, JRS and SEISS, is not withdrawn too soon and that future support is tailored to the specific needs of firms and sectors in this region”.