Real Journalism by Leeds Hacks

Finding jobs in Leeds during Covid-19 “really difficult”

Hillary Keene
Hillary Keene
Unemployment has gone up signifficantly since lockdown. We spoke to NHS contractor Hilary Keene on her experience with unemployment.

Unemployment rose significantly in April when it hit 28915 claimant cases in Leeds alone. Recent government statistics in Leeds have shown a huge increase in unemployment during the Covid-19 pandemic.

More men than women in Leeds have also been made unemployed with the statistics in May showing 22250 men filing for unemployment benefits compared to 13010 women.

From December 2019, to September 2020, there has been a 6% increase in unemployment from 16935 to 36515

A graph showing Unemployment in Leeds; Created by Isobel Howard

Hilary Keene, who was made recently unemployed by the NHS told us how hard it had been on her. “I was made unemployed and have been for the past month, and the difference this time is, whereas normally I would be getting lots of calls about jobs, there’s been nothing and not really that much I can apply for.”

“Due to contracting rules you can only work for two years at one place and then you have to leave if there isn’t a permanent job there for you, so I left my contract in Leeds and I had to take a contract in Manchester.”

The government has created a multitude of different benefits to help people who have lost their jobs during the pandemic. In May 2020 88,200 people in Leeds were furloughed, this then rose by 20% to 105,900 in in June.

Despite the difficulties this year has caused, Hilary still remains hopeful she will find a job. “I’ve kept myself busy, but hopefully things will start to look up again and in the new year I’ll get something else.”

By Alyssa Keene
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