Universal Credit

Cornwall working age population on benefits hits 6%

Tamsin Melville

Political Reporter, BBC Radio Cornwall

The number of people claiming benefits in Cornwall because of losing their job has gone up to 20,500 - just over 6% of the working age population.

A year ago the number of benefit claimants was just 7,200.

In total, 730,000 jobs have been lost in the UK since the start of the coronavirus crisis in March.

However, the UK unemployment rate has been estimated at 3.9%, largely unchanged on the year and the previous quarter, as millions remained on the government-backed furlough scheme.

But rural areas and tourism businesses are among the hardest hit.

We are only just seeing these latest statistics, but, looking at benefits previously, Cornwall Council has said that it was predominantly in the rural parts of Cornwall that were experiencing the largest increases in people on universal credit, and particularly in areas with a strong reliance on tourism.

So, Newquay has been among the worst affected areas in England.

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