The places in Wales hit hardest by unemployment since coronavirus

The coronavirus pandemic has massively impacted every aspect of life.

And one of the hardest hit has been the economy. Back in March, thousands of workers were placed on furlough as some firms were forced to close – with some shutting for good.

Even though many businesses have since reopened, the economic impact of the lockdown is still being felt.

Now the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) help show which areas have been worst hit. Although not every job loss or increase in those claiming benefits can be attributed to the pandemic, it helps reveal which areas are currently struggling economically.

It comes as cases of the virus continue to rise across Wales. You can follow live updates here.

Across Wales, unemployment between May to July rose slightly to 3.1% from February to April.

The level in England stands at 4.1%.

Claimant count as of August 13, 2020

These figures show the number of people in each area of Wales claiming Jobseekers Allowance and some Universal Credit claimants.

Data shows that 6.3% of Wales is on the claimant count, compared to 6.6% in England.

Cardiff has the highest number, at 16,460 people, but when the numbers are adjusted to population Newport has the highest.

There 7.8% of the population are claiming. Second comes Merthyr Tydfil at 7.3% followed by Blaenau Gwent and Conwy at 7.2%.

Across the UK, Wales had the second-highest level of economic inactivity at 22.9% which is up 0.6% from last year.

The number includes people above the age of 16 not looking for work because they are students, full-time carers, took early retirement or are on long sick.

Those on furlough and workers on zero-hours contracts but with no shifts are not included.

Reacting to the latest figures, Matthew Percival, CBI Director of People and Skills, said: “The easing of lockdown restrictions and a more flexible Job Retention Scheme in July have led to the beginning of a recovery in vacancies and hours worked. But rising redundancies, rising unemployment and a record fall in the number of young people in work are clear warning signs of what is to come.

“Looking ahead, a successor to the Job Retention Scheme is needed to protect jobs and businesses.”

The latest unemployment figures include months before the coronavirus lockdown and run from April 2019 to March 2020.

The unemployment numbers are based on ONS models.

The figures come as the number of coronavirus cases continue to increase across Wales.

The Welsh Government said during a coronavirus briefing on Monday that measures being considered to curb the spread of coronavirus include the use of curfews and restrictions around alcohol sales.

Public Health Wales has reported “higher levels of transmission” in the Newport area, amid concerns it is on the brink of a local lockdown.

People in Newport who had visited a number of pubs and bars were told to be “extra vigilant” for symptoms of Covid-19 because a number of people had been in the premises during their infectious period.

Action is being taken in Merthyr Tydfil and Rhondda Cynon Taf, which have each seen a rise in coronavirus cases, and a local lockdown was enforced in Caerphilly county borough on Tuesday.

WalesOnline – Cardiff