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Unemployment hits highest rate for 37 years

Unemployment hits highest rate for 37 years

Wednesday 24 June 2020

Unemployment hits highest rate for 37 years


The number of people registered as unemployed in the Bailiwick is now the highest it's been since early 1983 when 1,014 people were out of work, compared to 1,681 at the end of last month.

The way people are registered as unemployed has changed over the years but the latest statistics have been published by the States with additional information explaining how the data has been collated over the decades.

"The definition of what comprises 'total registered unemployed' has gradually expanded over time to include those on government training schemes for the unemployed, anybody in part-time or casual employment who is available to work additional hours and still eligible to claim job seekers’ benefit to supplement their income, and those who are fully employed and eligible for Income Support (previously Supplementary Benefit) on top of their low earnings," the bulletin states. 

"Additionally, the introduction of the Income Support scheme in 2018 included a work requirement for all claimants of working age. These factors may partly account for the increasing trend in unemployment seen in Table 2.1.1"that table and the additional information can be found HERE

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Pictured: The number of people out of work has fluctuated over the decades, but between March 2020 and May 2020 it rose to 1,681.

The number of people classed as 'wholly out of work' in Guernsey, Alderney, Herm or Jethou, at the end of March 2020 was 497 - which is 156 more than it was a year earlier, and is the highest since the current way of compiling the records began in 2007.

That number increased further as the impact of the Covid-19 lockdown measures were fully felt across the Bailiwick with a number of people losing their jobs as a result.  Within two months the unemployment rate had grown from 3.1% of the total available workforce to 5.2%.

The definition of 'wholly unemployed' covers people recognised by Employment and Social Security as being those who did not do any paid work during that week. During the lockdown that would include anyone who was ‘furloughed’ as a result of the corona virus crisis - so those people may technically still be employed but were not being paid.

Anyone claiming a Hardship Benefit during the lockdown, who did not qualify for Unemployment Benefit, Sickness Benefit or Income Support, and anyone who has either found work/returned to work, but had not yet received a wage and all Alderney Income Support claims created after 25 March are also included in the latest figures.

Wheadon House

Pictured: Edward T Wheadon House.

As the number of people left unemployed by the impact of the Covid lockdown, the number of job vacancies advertised locally has also fallen dramatically.

It had already dropped by nearly 200 between the end of 2019 and spring 2020 before the full impact of the pandemic was felt by employers in the Bailiwick. 

In December there were 1,004 roles being advertised with the Job Centre, at Edward T Wheadon House, which had dropped to 806 by the end of March this year.

The latest data available suggests there were 167 jobs available last week being advertised through the Job Centre.

Pictured top: The number of people out of work is at its highest rate for decades.

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