Nearly a dozen unemployed people in Aylesbury Vale chasing every job vacancy

Nearly a dozen unemployed people in Buckinghamshire are chasing every new job vacancy, new figures suggest.

By Thomas Bamford
Monday, 29th June 2020, 9:50 am
Updated Monday, 29th June 2020, 9:52 am
Nearly a dozen unemployed people in Aylesbury Vale chasing every job vacancy
Nearly a dozen unemployed people in Aylesbury Vale chasing every job vacancy

That is according to research by the Institute for Employment Studies comparing data from job search engine Adzuna with work-related benefit claimant figures.

The think tank warns many people struggling before the Covid-19 crisis will now be even worse off, and says much more must be done to support livelihoods.

The analysis found that for every job vacancy in Buckinghamshire there were around 11 people claiming work-related benefits in May, the most recent period with comparable data.

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This was higher than the UK average of nine, which rose from two in March.

In Buckinghamshire, the figure was one before the lockdown.

The think tank compared the vacancy data to Office for National Statistics figures on the number of people claiming benefits such as Jobseekers Allowance and some forms of Universal Credit.

However, the ONS has cautioned that changes to Universal Credit due to the virus mean more people could get help while still being employed.

Nationally, the IES report found the ratio of claimants to vacancies was highest in ethnically diverse urban areas and ex-industrial communities.

Places where it was lowest included university towns and cities, and affluent areas in the East of England and the South East.

Tony Wilson, director of the IES, said: “This crisis has affected all parts of the economy, but it’s clear that it is hitting some places harder than others.

“Many of these areas were struggling before this crisis began and are in even more trouble now.

“We need to be doing much more both to support employment demand in the short term – for example by cutting employer National Insurance – and in the longer-term to support new industries and jobs.”

The figures show there were 3,450 job vacancies in Buckinghamshire on June 14.

Previous data was not available, but across the country, the number of vacancies plunged to 367,000 on June 14 – 55% lower than the 820,000 jobs advertised before the virus rocked the economy.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation, which funded the research, said the Government must focus on mitigating the economic impact of the pandemic as the economy reopens if it wants to follow through on its “levelling up” agenda and reduce regional inequalities.

Dave Innes, the foundation’s head of economics, said: “To make this ambition a reality, we need sustained investment in jobs, skills and infrastructure across the country, as well as a social security system that supports people when they need it.”

Employment minister Mims Davies said: “We know it’s a challenging jobs market for many at the moment and some sectors have been hit particularly hard.

“That’s why we’ve taken unprecedented action to support our economy during this emergency, protecting millions of jobs and thousands of businesses through the furlough scheme, grants, loans and tax cuts.”

She added that levelling up opportunity will be “at the heart of the revival” of the economy.