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Chamber concern over increasingly tough jobs market highlighted in new report

THE Hull & Humber Chamber of Commerce is today expressing its concerns about the future of the region’s key towns and city following the publication of a new report.

The Centre for Cities study shows jobseekers in the North face up to 50 per cent more competition for a job than in other areas, once again highlighting the North South divide – and at a time when there are increased fears over redundancies in our region as the Government’s furlough scheme winds down.

Competition for jobs is far higher in Northern cities where it is already hard to find a job, and competition for a job in Hull is the 10th highest in the UK, behind Middlesbrough in first place, and cities including Sunderland, Burnley, Birkenhead and Huddersfield also featuring in the top 10.

The Chamber’s External Affairs Manager David Hooper said: “We are concerned about rising unemployment in the Humber’s major conurbations like Hull, Grimsby and Scunthorpe as the Government’s furlough scheme winds down following the Covid-19 crisis.

“The next few months will be crucial for employers as they bring people back into the workplace, while some employers are looking at how they operate and reshaping their businesses accordingly.

“We welcome in particular the Government’s announcements on apprenticeships for young people who are most at risk as furloughing is withdrawn.

“The hospitality and retail sector are another major concern – anyone who has ventured into a pub since the lockdown restrictions were eased will know that things are very different to how they used to be. There is considerable fear among the general public about going out again, and the capacity of many pubs and restaurants has been greatly reduced thanks to social distancing.

“We hope the Government’s Eat Out to Help Out initiative will help in the coming months and protect jobs.

“While every part of the country has been affected by Covid-19, it is the towns and cities which faced tougher economic conditions before the crisis which are likely to be the hardest hit, and most of those are in the North.

“This makes the Government’s levelling up ambitions all the more important, especially in Northern Lincolnshire, Hull and the East Riding.”

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