Unemployment and Universal Credit rise significantly

The number of Shetlanders claiming Universal Credit has almost doubled since the start of the pandemic while unemployment has risen by 70 per cent year on year.

New figures show that over 1,100 people are claiming Universal Credit, an all-time high.

The total has risen month on month and has remained above 1,000 since June, according to the Department for Work and Pensions.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) estimated that 550 people in the isles were unemployed as of 8th October, a rise of 230 on the same month last year.

Of these, more men (325) were out of unemployment than women (225).

The number of people claiming Universal Credit stood at 1,112 as of 8th October, which was up slightly on September (1,088).

This figure is significantly higher than it was before the pandemic, when 593 Shetlanders were claiming the benefit.

The number of people claiming Universal Credit rose by nearly 50 per cent between March and April as the impact of the national lockdown was felt in Shetland’s labour market.

There were 873 Shetlanders claiming Universal Credit in April – a rise of 280 in the space of just a month.

ONS unemployment estimates are based on the organisation’s claimant count, which consists of those receiving Jobseekers’ Allowance and Universal Credit claimants not recorded as in employment and who are required to search for work.


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