Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael has responded to the latest unemployment claimant figures which show a doubling in claimants for April by comparison to the previous year in the Northern Isles. The figures published show 825 claimants in Orkney and Shetland as of April 2020, representing 3% of the 16-64 population. This figure is 430 higher than April last year and an increase of 260 from March. The equivalent claimant rate for the UK was 5.1%.
Commenting, Mr Carmichael said:
“The latest unemployment claimant figures are a troubling sign of the economic impact of coronavirus. This is a warning of what may be to come and one that we cannot afford to ignore. We are fortunate in the isles to continue to have a relatively low rate of unemployment, but that is no reason for complacency. The jump in figures is a reminder of the long-term impact we face and the need for a recovery plan that looks to the future.”
“The economic hardship caused by the coronavirus outbreak will take time to repair. Millions of people are still not getting the help they need and too many are still falling through gaps in the support schemes. If we are to recover from the economic crisis the government must do more to shore-up support for the self-employed and sectors that will bear the brunt of the coronavirus longest, such as tourism. Protecting livelihoods begins by protecting people’s jobs.”