Fourth successive monthly drop in unemployment rate in Hull

Hull’s unemployment rate has fallen for the fourth consecutive month.

The number of people claiming the key benefit is down to 14,745 – from 9.1 per cent to 8.8 per cent month-on-month. Year-on-year the figure is down further, with 1,400 fewer claimants as it dropped from 9.6 per cent.

It has been cited as a sign the economy is recovering, with booming trades in holiday homes, caravans and modular buildings in the city and beyond.

Several major manufacturers including Willerby and Victory have been on recruitment drives as new lines are added and business won, while contact centre ResQ is also bringing scores of new jobs to the city centre.

The number of unemployment benefit claimants in Hull shot up from 9,875 (5.9 per cent) to 14,605 (8.7 per cent) between March and April 2020 as the pandemic started. It peaked at 16,330 (9.7 per cent) last May.

The effects of the pandemic contributed to a 65 per cent increase in unemployment benefit claimants in the first lockdown, compared with 113 per cent nationally and 69 per cent in the Humber – underlining the key sector status of the area when it comes to food, process, ports and energy production.

Hull remains the highest in the sub-region, with North East Lincolnshire at 5.9 per cent (5,620); North Lincolnshire at 5.1 per cent (5,265) and East Riding at 3.6 per cent (7,140).

All eyes will be on furlough ending in September, as to the full picture of the pandemic impact.

Councillor Daren Hale, leader of Hull City Council, said: “These figures show that this city is firmly back on the path to the high employment levels it was seeing before the Covid pandemic.

“Of course, the whole country has been hit hard by the effects of the pandemic, but before this, Hull was experiencing some of the best employment figures we had seen in many years.

“Now, although we still have a long way to go, this steady fall in unemployment benefit claimants is an excellent sign that businesses in the city are beginning to again flourish and the economy is back on track to the levels it had reached before the pandemic.

“We can’t speak highly enough for the way Hull businesses have responded to the challenges brought on by these difficult times. This city’s culture has always been one of fighting through adversity and it shows in the actions of its business-owners and workers during this recovery.”

Hull City Council’s Employment Hub has been highlighted as playing an instrumental role too. Hundreds of people of all ages on the path to rewarding new careers.

The hub at Hull Central Library has already had 687 referrals, with 124 into work, 11 into volunteering opportunities and 66 people into training since its launch on November 1.

Its staff are working with nearly 200 businesses and Job Centre Plus in Hull to assist with job vacancies.

It is also home to the Government’s national Kickstart Scheme, with almost 500 placements made at more than 130 businesses in the city.