Lincoln unemployment highest in two decades, worse than 2008 recession

Lincoln’s unemployment claimant rate was the highest for more than 20 years at the end of April, new figures have revealed.

Documents before the Lincoln Town Deal board on Friday show that between January and April this year, the number of unemployment benefit claims rose from 2,485 to 3,900, a spike of 57%.

It means Lincoln’s claimant rate sat at 5.8%, the highest since 1998 and greater than seen during the 2008 recession.

The town deal board is building up an evidence base for its application to government for a share of a £3.6billion pot – along with Boston, Skegness, Mablethorpe, Grimsby and Scunthorpe.

Successful towns or cities could received up to £25 million to improve transport, broadband connectivity, skills and culture.

Across Lincolnshire as a whole, there were more than 9,230 extra claims between January and April – a rise of 71%.

North Kesteven District Council saw the greatest rate of change with figures more than doubling from 1,155 to 2,450.

The three “Central Lincolnshire” districts of Lincoln, North Kesteven and West Lindsey have seen a combined increase of 4,000 claims – up 70%.

“It is fair to assume that a large proportion of these claimants will live in North Hykeham, which lies within the Lincoln Principal Urban Area and is a key part of the Lincoln economy,” said the report.

In May, figures released by the Department for Work and Pensions showed that between March 12 and April 9, the number of people claiming for Universal Credit – a package of six benefits – had risen by more than 14,000.

National figures for people claiming unemployment by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) at the time estimated that 2.1 million people had claimed unemployment benefit across the UK – a jump of 856,500 in the first full month of coronavirus lockdown.

Separate ONS figures showed UK unemployment rise to 1.35 million nationally in March – a rise of 50,000.

Meanwhile, the number of vacancies fell by nearly a quarter to 637,000 in the three months leading up to April.

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