Unemployment could hit 27% in York – as MP warns of a ‘wave’ of redundancies

Shoppers walk past a boarded-up store on Coney Street, York. Photograph: YorkMix
8 Oct 2020 @ 5.32 pm
| News

Unemployment in York could reach 27 per cent and the city will endure a ‘wave of redundancies’ when furlough ends, says an MP.

Rachael Maskell says that the latest statistics show that unemployment in the city could reach 11 per cent in the best case scenario, while the worst case scenario could see joblessness hit a peak of 27 per cent, “a level which could prove disastrous to York’s fragile economy”.

In Ms Maskell’s York Central constituency

  • around 30,000 people work in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors
  • more than 14,000 employees (19.6%) are enrolled in the Government’s furlough scheme
  • the city has 3,100 Self-Employment Income Support Scheme claimants (4.34% of working age people).

The Labour MP says York’s economy, which is heavily dependent on the tourism, hospitality and service sectors, will be disproportionately affected by the ending of the furlough and SEISS schemes compared to other cities across the North.

Potentially bleak future

York Central MP Rachael Maskell

Ms Maskell said: “I have received a huge amount of correspondence from constituents who are extremely worried about their future job prospects, and it is clear that the Government’s new Job Support Scheme will leave many thousands without support, leaving them facing a worrying and uncertain future.

“The key sectors of tourism, hospitality and the service industry are precisely those sectors which have been left out of the Government’s new measures, and as a result, York’s economy faces a potentially bleak and uncertain future.

“Approximately 1 in 4 jobs are in retail, hospitality and tourism, and around half of these are on part-time or zero hours contracts.

“This means that the most vulnerable sectors of the workforce are going to be left out of the Government’s new support scheme.”

She added: “I have made major changes to my office, so that we can support residents through this time as well as challenging Government to act and not turn its back on our city and all those struggling at this time.”