The pandemic has created a middle-class unemployment crisis that will get ‘much worse’ as Christmas approaches, experts warn.
Analysis reveals the extent of the jobs bloodbath in commuter towns, resorts and manufacturing hubs.
The number on the dole has already tripled in the hardest-hit towns and cities.
In the ten worst-affected areas there are 138,000 on out-of-work benefits – 75,000 more than before the pandemic.
The analysis by the Centre for Economic and Business Research (CEBR) raises fears that even well-off communities will become job wastelands as they are hammered by the coronavirus recession.
It reveals the hardest hit areas include Slough, Luton and Peterborough as well as affluent seaside resorts such as Brighton.
Economists predict that a million jobs will be lost in the next nine weeks after the furlough scheme ends on Saturday.
Doug McWilliams, CEBR’s deputy chairman, said: ‘The middle class is likely to get hit much worse as we go on. A lot of management jobs have gone, a lot of professional jobs have gone, and some specialist ones. The middle classes have a jobs crisis – their pensions are squeezed and house prices will be lower.’
The pandemic has created a middle-class unemployment crisis that will get ‘much worse’ as Christmas approaches, experts warn
The gloomy figures are drawn from Office for National Statistics data showing the increase in the claimant count in the 12 months to September 10. This combines those claiming Universal Credit who are looking for work and those on the Job-Seekers’ Allowance.
The CEBR has pinpointed the ten hardest-hit cities and towns, which have suffered from the virus’s impact on sectors of the economy such as aviation, manufacturing, hospitality and tourism.
The analysis excludes London, Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool – which currently have 635,440 claiming out of work benefits, up from 250,985 a year ago – to focus on the economic devastation in towns and regional cities, which typically find it harder to recover from recessions.
Tough new coronavirus restrictions announced last week will hit several regions highlighted by the research.
In Slough, which is heavily reliant on Heathrow, the number looking for work has more than tripled in a year from 2.6 per cent of the working age population to 8.5 per cent, or from 2,510 to 8,100.
In Luton, Easyjet’s headquarters, the number has risen from 4,025 to 11,690. Tougher coronavirus rules announced last week will hit several regions highlighted.
The proportion of claimants in Blackpool in Lancashire has doubled to 11.7 per cent, or 9,940 people, suggesting it is now the number one unemployment hotspot in Britain
Local leaders in Blackpool, now subject to the harshest Tier Three restrictions, say the resort is facing ‘the equivalent of three winters in a row’.
Like Brighton the town has suffered from a sharp fall in visitors.
Other seaside communities facing a sharp rise in unemployment include Hastings in East Sussex, Southend-on-Sea in Essex, and Torbay in Devon.
Northampton is one of several manufacturing hubs to shed thousands of jobs, while the number out of work in Wolverhampton has risen from 9,645 to 17,280 after Jaguar Land Rover and aerospace giant Collins slashed jobs.
Rhe hardest hit areas include Slough (pictured), Luton and Peterborough as well as affluent seaside resorts such as Brighton
The number of people out of work in Wolverhampton has risen from 9,645 to 17,280 after carmaker Jaguar Land Rover and aerospace giant Collins slashed jobs.
Britain on brink of double-dip recession because Covid restrictions are ‘squeezing activity’, economists warn
‘Squeezing activity’: Economists predict a GDP crash this winter as the second wave bites and jobs are lost
Britain is on the brink of a double-dip recession because Covid restrictions are ‘squeezing activity’, economists warn.
They predict a GDP crash this winter as the second wave bites and jobs are lost.
George Buckley, from Nomura, said the UK would experience a ‘lopsided W-shaped recovery’ with a ‘second, smaller dip in GDP over the winter’.
Capital Economics said the economy was taking a worrying turn after purchasing managers’ index scores fell for two months even before restrictions ‘begin to bite’.
Paul Dales, its chief UK economist, said: ‘The trajectory is worrying and suggests Covid restrictions in September are squeezing activity. It’s not looking good.’
In Hull the claimant count has risen from 5.1 per cent to 9.7 per cent – meaning 16,305 people are now claiming out-of-work benefits in the city – and in Peterborough 9,800 people are on the dole, more than double the number before the pandemic.
There are also now more than 26,000 people claiming out of work benefits in manufacturing hubs Middlesbrough and Wolverhampton, meaning the proportion of people on the dole is now more than ten per cent.
Since March tens of thousands of jobs have disappeared in professional consultancy, aviation, events, the arts and travel.
Small independent high street businesses are having to shed staff as shoppers order online. Covid restrictions threaten to kill off bars, pubs and hotels, hitting thousands of small suppliers. Theatres, music venues and galleries have shed staff, while the National Trust has made 1,300 redundant.
Large retailers such as Boots, John Lewis and Topshop owner Arcadia have looked to make saving by axing head office roles.
Ongoing restrictions threaten to kill off bars, pubs and hotels, hitting students, those starting out in the world of work, and thousands of small businesses which supply hospitality firms with food and equipment.
The airline industry is being decimated by the collapse in international travel, putting pilots, flight attendants and airport staff out of work, as well as specialist workers at firms such as Rolls Royce.
The arts have also been decimated with theatres, music venues and galleries shedding staff, while even the National Trust has been forced to make 1,300 redundancies.
Last week Chancellor Rishi Sunak expanded his winter jobs scheme. Before his announcement economists were predicting unemployment, currently 1.5million, or 4.5 per cent, would exceed 2.5million by Christmas.
Before the announcement economists were predicting more than a million job losses in just nine weeks.
This would take unemployment to over 2.5 million by Christmas up from its current level of 1.5 million, or 4.5 per cent.
But the furlough scheme is still supporting millions of jobs, and experts are predicting a ‘cliff edge’ in some industries when it ends on October 31.
Last night there were calls for targeted government support for the worst-affected areas.
Simon Clarke, the Conservative MP for Middlesbrough South, said: ‘We’ve been left behind for 40 years and we’ve had successive lost generations so this is not new.
‘Middlesbrough is a town that has struggled profoundly with the decline of heavy industry and the virus has exacerbated that.
‘We need game-changing investment – we are extremely vulnerable at the best of times, and these are the worst of times.’
Paul Maynard, the Tory MP for Blackpool North, added: ‘Any economy which is seasonal and is now facing the equivalent of three winters in a row will see a significant uptake of universal credit. We need to stabilise the situation, focus on making Blackpool as safe as possible and entice visitors back.’
Peter Kyle, the Labour MP for Hove, said: ‘The Treasury must provide more effective support to prevent towns like Brighton being left behind for a generation.’
Wayne Strutton, the Conservative opposition leader on Slough Borough Council, said: ‘Slough is losing jobs across the board. It has a huge impact, and I fear young people in particular will struggle.’
Britain records 19,790 more Covid-19 cases and 151 deaths – more than DOUBLE last Sunday’s total of 67
By Ross Ibbetson for the MailOnline
Britain has recorded a further 151 Covid-19 deaths today – more than double last Sunday’s total.
Some 19,790 people tested positive for coronavirus in the UK, marking a rise of just 16.5 per cent on the 16,982 cases reported last Sunday.
However, today’s daily death toll has skyrocketed by 125 per cent compared to the 67 deaths reported this day last week.
The 151 Covid-19 deaths across all settings – including hospitals, care homes and the wider community – reported today is the highest Sunday death toll since May 24.
Figures on Sunday are usually smaller due to a delay in processing over the weekend.
Wales reported 1,104 positive Covid-19 tests today along with five new deaths. Scotland reported 1,303 cases and one new death.
Northern Ireland has seen eight further Covid-19 deaths and 896 new cases.
It comes after a record 26,680 cases were reported on Wednesday, while the highest number of daily deaths last week was 241 on Tuesday.
There is usually under-reporting on weekends, however, so any decline in infections or deaths today compared to the last week must be viewed with caution.
It comes amid tightened restrictions across the United Kingdom, particularly in Wales which has imposed a 17-day full lockdown with people only allowed out of their homes for essential items and exercise.
In shocking scenes, plastic sheeting was draped over items deemed ‘non-essential’ by the Welsh Government, including books, children’s clothes and duvets.
The reports come amid another day of major Covid-19 news:
- Britain recorded a further 151 Covid-19 deaths – more than double last Sunday’s total of 67
- Some 19,790 people tested positive for coronavirus, marking a rise of just 16.5 per cent on the 16,982 cases reported last Sunday
- NHS workers are ‘set to get a vaccine in weeks’ as the Government accelerates timetable for a mass roll-out before Christmas – while ministers introduce new laws to bypass EU approval for jab;
- Coronavirus self-isolation could be slashed to seven days amid fears that Britons who come into contact with infected people are flouting the tough 14-day rules – as Tories call for testing tsar Dido Harding to quit;
- An extra ‘Tier Four’ level of Covid restrictions that would close restaurants and non-essential shops could be imposed for England if the infection rate does not drop;
- Wales is reviewing its ‘trolley police’ ban on shops selling non-essential goods amid huge backlash, with First Minister Mark Drakeford admitting ‘common sense’ is needed after a revolt at the draconian curbs;
- The government is under massive pressure to U-turn on its free school meals policy during the pandemic as Tory MPs threaten to vote with Labour;
- Thousands of pounds from the UK’s coronavirus bailout pot for the cultural sector is going to a music festival promoting ‘world control’ by China.
The number of new fatalities was at roughly 125 percent on the same day in the previous week according to the latest data
The number of new infections increased by around 17 percent today across the UK. It comes amid tightened restrictions across the United Kingdom
A member of the public passes the Nightingale Hospital North West in Manchester, England, on Thursday
It comes amid tightened restrictions across the United Kingdom, particularly in Wales which has imposed a 17-day full lockdown with people only allowed out of their homes for essential items and exercise. Pictured: Shelves of childrens’ clothing covered in plastic sheeting in a Penarth Tesco
Barriers cordon off a clothing area in a Cardiff Bay ASDA store on Sunday. Supermarkets have been banned from selling non-essential items
Shelves of books were covered in plastic sheeting in a Tesco store in Penarth today due to a ban on supermarkets selling non-essential items in the country
In Northern Ireland a four-week tightening of restrictions, such as on household mixing, was introduced on Friday, while in Scotland Nicola Sturgeon has outline five levels of coronavirus rules, similar to the English three-tiered system.
But hope was earlier delivered from across the Atlantic, as senior Donald Trump adviser Dr Anthony Fauci said that a ‘safe and effective’ vaccine could be ready by the end of next month.
It comes as an email sent by an NHS Trust chief revealed the health service has been told to have a staff vaccine scheme ready to go by early December.
Speaking on the Andrew Marr Show, Dr Fauci confirmed a claim from US President that a vaccine was nearly ready to go.
The United States has donated $1bn toward the Oxford University-AstraZeneca vaccine, securing 400million doses, as human trials of the vaccine started in the States last month.
The UK Government has pre-ordered 100million doses of the trial’s vaccine, should it be safe to use.
Dr Fauci told the BBC’s Andrew Marr show: ‘We will know whether a vaccine is safe and effective by the end of November, the beginning of December.
A sign reading ‘as part of the “firebreak” regulations, items deemed “non-essential” by the Welsh Government will not be available to purchase’ is seen on a shelf of lightbulbs
A sign instructing customers not to buy duvets is seen in a supermarket near Cardiff on Sunday
Speaking on BBC’s Andrew Marr Show on Sunday morning, Dr Fauci said a vaccine could be ready by the end of the year, but most of the public would not have access to it until late 2021
Plans are being drawn up for frontline NHS staff to receive a coronavirus vaccine within weeks, as the Government moves to accelerate the timetable for a mass roll-out. An email sent by an NHS Trust chief to his staff, seen by The Mail on Sunday, reveals the Health Service is preparing for a national vaccination programme before Christmas. (Above, the memo, sent by Glen Burley, chief executive of George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust in Warwickshire)
‘But the question is, once you have a safe and effective vaccine, or more than one, how can you get it to the people who need it as quickly as possible?
‘The amount of doses that will be available in December will not certainly be enough to vaccinate everybody, you’ll have to wait several months into 2021.’
Dr Fauci’s comments come after it was revealed that the Government has introduced new laws that would allow the UK to bypass the EU approval process if a safe and effective jab is ready before the end of the post-Brexit transition period on December 31.
The move will boost optimism that a ‘game-changing’ vaccine will soon allow Boris Johnson to relax the social restrictions which have crippled the country since March.
A memo from Glen Burley, chief executive of George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust in Warwickshire, suggested NHS staff would be receiving a vaccine before Christmas. In a memo to staff, he wrote: ‘Our Trust, alongside NHS organisations nationally, has been told to be prepared to start a Covid-19 staff vaccine programme in early December.
‘The latest intelligence states a coronavirus vaccine should be available this year with NHS staff prioritised prior to Christmas.’
He said healthcare workers will likely be prioritised first for any vaccine, as well as people considered at increased risk of complications.
Dr Fauci’s comments came after it was revealed that the Government has introduced new laws that would allow the UK to bypass the EU approval process if a safe and effective jab is ready before the end of the post-Brexit transition period on December 31
Dr Fauci was asked for his thoughts after Donald Trump, speaking at a US presidential debate earlier this week, Mr Trump said a vaccine would be ready ‘by the end of the year’.
Dr Fauci said most Brits would not receive a vaccine until later in 2021.
He said: ‘That could start by the end of this year, the beginning of January, February, March of next year.
‘When you talk about vaccinating a substantial proportion of the population, so that you can have a significant impact on the dynamics of the outbreak, that very likely will not be in to the second or third quarter.’
Mr Burley added that the vaccine was ‘expected to be given in two doses, 28 days apart’ and urged his colleagues to have had their flu shot by the end of November so they can qualify for a Covid-19 jab.
Diane Wake, chief executive of the Dudley Group NHS Trust, told a recent hospital board meeting: ‘I’m hoping for a Covid-19 vaccine to be available to healthcare providers some time in December. It has not been confirmed yet but I’m hoping to be able to offer a Covid-19 vaccine to our staff.’
In other developments related to Covid:
- Elderly Covid patients were denied intensive care during the height of the pandemic. It’s been revealed a triage tool drawn up at the request of England’s chief medical officer stopped over 80s from receiving potentially life-saving treatment in a bid to try and stop the NHS from being overrun;
- Welsh ministers have admitted a ban on shops selling non-essential items is not working, while threatening to impose another ‘firebreak’ lockdown after Christmas;
- Professor Neil Ferguson, the controversial academic whose modelling heavily influenced the national lockdown in March, was accused of scaremongering after saying that people ‘will catch Covid-19 and die’ if families are allowed to mix on Christmas Day;
- As 1.4 million people across South Yorkshire were plunged into the highest Tier 3 restrictions, another 151 deaths and 16,982 new cases were announced Sunday;
- Hotel tycoon Sir Rocco Forte called for Matt Hancock to be sacked for his ‘shambolic’ handling of the crisis as a poll found 49 per cent of people think the Health Secretary breached a drinks curfew in a Commons bar, compared with just nine per cent who thought he did not;
- Rishi Sunak has asked Treasury officials to find ways of illustrating the crippling financial toll of the pandemic and is pushing to publish it alongside the statistics for cases and deaths;
- Banks faced fury as it emerged Barclays has set aside £745 million for bonuses, more than last year, and Lloyds will let most of its 65,000 employees work from home until at least next spring;
- Psychologists said Covid-19 may cause birth rates to fall, people to stay single for longer and for women to become more promiscuous;
- The global death toll exceeded 1,147,000, while police fought with young protesters angry at restrictions in the Italian city of Naples and the Polish president Andrzej Duda revealed that he had tested positive for the virus.
Clinical staff wear personal protective equipment (PPE) while caring for a patient in the Intensive Care unit (ICU) on May 5 at the Royal Papworth Hospital, operated by the Royal Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, in Cambridge
Despite facing continued criticism, Mr Hancock has pushed through new laws to strip the European Medicines Agency of the power to approve the vaccine if it is ready before the end of December. Instead, British watchdogs will be able to fast-track its production.
A health official said: ‘Although we still think it most likely that the vaccine will be ready early next year, Matt wants the freedom to operate if it all moves more quickly.’
The official added that under changes to the Human Medicines Regulations 2012, which took effect on October 16, the UK was ‘no longer beholden to the EU process if a vaccine is developed before 2021 and has strong evidence proving it is safe, high quality and effective’.
They added: ‘Should a vaccine be available before the end of the year, we have put in place robust measures to allow the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency to authorise the vaccine for UK patients. This will only happen if there is a strong public health justification and the EU process is taking too long.’
The regulator will have autonomy to approve vaccines for the UK from 2021 in any case.
A senior Government source said: ‘We have made sure that if a vaccine is proven safe and effective we won’t be held back from deploying it by the need for approval from Brussels.’
NHS staff are most likely to receive the vaccine being developed by Oxford University and pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca, which is in the final stages of trials.
The Government has already bought 100 million doses of the drug, which is administered in two doses. Under Government plans, frontline NHS staff and care home workers will be vaccinated first, followed by those aged over 80.
Human trials of the Oxford vaccine have been under way since April, involving about 20,000 volunteers worldwide. Scientists have reported a ‘robust immune response’ and no serious side-effects.
Last night, David Eltringham, managing director at George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust, said: ‘We don’t have a definite date for delivery of the vaccine, but we are making ready to deploy the vaccine from the beginning of December.’
‘I worried over putting food on the table’
Dave Day was hit by redundancy in July and is now worried he will struggle to pay his mortgage and ‘keep food on the table’.
The 51-year-old had worked at Brighton charity Impact Initiative for more than four years in outreach, caring for families and elderly people with dementia.
Mr Day, who has a 12-year-old son, was furloughed in March and hoped to return to work after the pandemic. But in July he was told his £20,000 a year job was no longer sustainable and he was made redundant.
Dave Day was hit by redundancy in July and is now worried he will struggle to pay his mortgage and ‘keep food on the table’
Mr Day, from Brighton, said: ‘It came as a blow as I really didn’t know how we were going to pay the mortgage and put food on the table. Like everyone else we had to tighten our belts massively. We had to cut out things we loved… and we had to take advantage of school meal vouchers.’
After being contacted by families still desperate for the personal care he offered while at the charity, Mr Day went freelance.
He said people were ‘still desperate for help’ and added that ‘it’s going to take a long time for some charities to recover from this’.
Mother-of-two Hayley Morton has been struggling to make ends meet after being made redundant from her job after 15 years.
Miss Morton, 33, was a customs expert for a company supplying in-flight entertainment, called Panasonic Aviation, which is based at Heathrow airport.
Mother-of-two Hayley Morton has been struggling to make ends meet after being made redundant from her job after 15 years
She was not on furlough during lockdown, and spent much of her time working in the office. She turned down voluntary redundancy, but bosses at her firm axed her job a week later.
Miss Morton, a single parent from Slough, said she is now worried about how she will provide for her two sons, who are seven and ten. She said: ‘It’s hard not to worry, it’s going to take six weeks at least until I receive any support from the Government. In the meantime, I have to afford my rent and food and everything for my boys.’
Thea McCarthy-Curless was left devastated after losing her dream job at a luxury fashion events company.
The 27-year-old had helped put on events for designers including Dior, Vivienne Westwood and Bulgari, but was made redundant at the start of October.
Thea McCarthy-Curless was left devastated after losing her dream job at a luxury fashion events company
She said: ‘Everybody in my industry is suffering so much through the pandemic. I’m trying very hard to be positive but it is tough.
‘It wasn’t like it was just any old job to me, it was my whole career.
‘My industry has been hit worst by this crisis as nobody has any clue when we’ll next be able to put on events at the same scale we had been doing previously.’
Miss McCarthy had been employed by Soho production agency My Beautiful City, which produces events for some of the biggest names in fashion.
Miss McCarthy, from Haggerston, east London, will now focus on freelance work. She said: ‘I’m getting my last pay check next month and I know I will have to savour that.’
This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk