The number of people claiming Universal Credit in Doncaster in one week in March ran at over four times the equivalent monthly volumes as the lockdown took hold.
With the release of the latest unemployment figures, it emerged that locally there were 28,436 Universal Credit claimants in Doncaster as of April 9.
That number jumped from 20,900 as of March 12.
The figures show the incredible pressures brought to bear on Universal Credit over a sustained period, with call volumes rising to a peak of 2.2 million in a single day. It certainly shows that the welfare system is delivering for those who need it in these unprecedented times.
To help the situation, 10,000 staff are being redeployed to help on the frontline and a rapid recruitment drive has been launched for an additional 5,000 to assist with claims. It is testament to the extraordinary efforts of staff that more than 1.4 million new Universal Credit claims have been processed since mid-March and more than 500k advance payments made.
DWP have a dedicated website for jobseekers, which includes articles, tips and guides to help people who are able and willing to take up roles now in sectors that are expanding rapidly to keep Britain working. Take a look here: https://www.jobcentreguide.co.uk/doncaster-jobcentre
Business leaders in Doncaster and the Sheffield City Region believe the latest unemployment figures highlight the need for continued support for businesses beyond lockdown.
Had it not been for the furlough scheme, which has been a huge support to businesses across the region; this figure would have been much higher.
It is vitally important as the economy begins to restart, and as more and more businesses get back to work, that support remains in place and that the full impact on businesses is recognised.
Help for businesses will need to continue in the short, medium and long term, and the team here at Business Doncaster will be on hand to continue to support local businesses and assist them to grow again.
March – April Comparison
- Sheffield - 23004 to 33766
- Barnsley - 16224 to 22333
- Rotherham - 14787 to 21185
- Doncaster - 20900 to 28436