Youth unemployment and benefit claims in Leeds soar above levels across Yorkshire

Leeds has a higher rate of youth unemployment than the rest of Yorkshire, according to new data released today.
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The number of 16-24s in Leeds claiming unemployment benefits increased by 159% from June 2019 to June 2020, figures released by Nacro Leeds - a national social justice charity - revealed.

The figures outpace general rises in unemployment nationally and regionally according to the charity.

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Unemployment in Yorkshire has risen by 133%, the figures suggest.

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Nacro Leeds said the figures reflect an 'unfair burden on young people' who have 'born the brunt of the Covid-related economic downturn'.

There are 7,565 16-24s claiming unemployment benefits in Leeds according to the Office for National Statistics.

This is an increase of almost 5,000 from the same point in June 2019 - with 2,920 claimants.

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The Chancellor has recently made announcements on measures to tackle unemployment, but despite this young people in Leeds face an uncertain future, the charity said.

Sujata Pant, Principal, Nacro Leeds said: “Not since the 1980s have we seen a collapse of the youth labour market like we are seeing today. Many young people find their plans on hold and the rug pulled out from under them. But there are options out there. It is important now that young people stay in education and training and prepare for the jobs market of the future to give them the best chance in this more competitive future.

“Local Further Education and skills providers like Nacro are best placed to do this. They know the local job markets, they have time to work with learners as individuals, link them to employers and they can build trust with young people to get the best out of them.”

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Laura Collins