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Powys unemployment up 156%

Created on 03/07/2020 @ 16:07
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The fall-out from Covid-19 restrictions has led to a whopping 156% increase in Powys unemployment with 2,225 people now out of work.

The figure was revealed to the County Council’s cabinet this week during a comprehensive report on the initial impact of the pandemic on the county’s residents, communities and economy.

The devastating impact is starting to bite with one in four local workers furloughed (13,100) at some point over the past three months, including 201 county council staff.

It was also revealed that business support of £46.6m has been paid out to 4,020 Powys businesses, the second highest in Wales.

But there was some good news for the environment and the council expense sheet with the cabinet hearing that there had been 162,000 less business miles driven in May alone.

Council Leader Councillor Rosemarie Harris said: “We know the COVID-19 outbreak has had a devastating impact on every aspect of the county’s social and economic well-being. The report examines the impact in detail covering key areas of operation and will be crucial in our recovery planning.

“The information collected during the first three months of the pandemic makes bleak reading, residents, businesses, communities and the county council have been severely affected and the repercussions for everyone will be felt for many years to come.

“The report ‘Understanding the Impact of COVID-19 in Powys’ identifies key areas of operation, the impact felt so far and the county council’s response. The insight gained as part of the impact review will be important in planning our recovery and will be crucial in lobbying Welsh Government for their continued financial support.”

The impact assessment will be will sent to all councillors, Welsh Government, WLGA, the Public Service Board and Wales Audit Office for information on Monday (July 6).

Key Findings

·      Business Support £46.6m paid out to 4,020 businesses (as of June 11 – the second highest in Wales)

·      Employment 23% per cent of county workforce furloughed (13,100)

·      Unemployment increased 156% = 2,225

·      Food and accommodation services GDP by 92% 

·      Nearly 400 volunteers recruited

·      More than 5,000 vulnerable residents contacted

·      16 childcare hubs established with more than 300 pupils attending

·      881 IT devices distributed to help pupils access learning

·      14% (290) extra pupils access free school meals

·      600 homeless presentations made – 300% during busiest period

·      Council projecting £16m deficit as result of Coronavirus

·      201 council staff furloughed 

·      Most staff home working

·      1,100% increase in network use

·      634% increase in online meeting use

·      18% decrease in emails

·      162,000 reduction in council business miles in May

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