THE number of people claiming Government benefits in Wychavon – including those on furlough and those self employed – has soared by 27.1 per cent in just one month – going up 1,660 to 7,788.
In Bromsgrove there has been a 22.4 per cent increase of 957 to 5,227.
TheDepartment of Work and Pensions figures put the regional average at 22.2 per cent and the national average around 25 per cent.
Duncan Campbell from the DWP said the county at large had been disproportionately hit due to its reliance on the hospitality and tourism industries but added that before Covid-19 it had extremely high employment levels.
He added it was simply unknown how many of those furloughed and working for themselves would return to employment.
“The 80 per cent of salary scheme runs out at the end of August and then reduces to a lower percentage point and that will be the crunch point.”
The biggest rises in the county were in Worcester (up 28.6 per cent by 1,747 people to 7,853) and Redditch (a 28.3 per cent increase of 1,731 to 7,845).
Malvern’s tally went up by 25.2 per cent – by 849 to 4,222.
Mr Campbell added despite the high figures employers were starting to recruit again with vacancies in particular coming in for the HS2 terminal at Curzon Street in Birmingham, the Commonwealth Games and for the 2021 national census.
A major fibre delivery company was also recruiting while local farmers would also be requiring seasonal workers.