GROWING numbers of people are feeling the brunt of the coronavirus crisis with latest figures showing that 12,747 residents in York are now claiming Universal Credit.

The true scale of the pandemic’s impact on the city, however, will not emerge until after the furlough scheme ends, warns Jenny Shaw, deputy employer and partnership manager for York and North Yorkshire, Department for Work and Pensions.

A third of private-sector workers are still on furlough in York, according to data released from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

In York Central 17,700 people - 34 per cent of the eligible workforce - are on furlough, while in York Outer the number is 12,600 people, or 29 per cent of the workforce.

The number of unemployed people and those on low incomes relying on Universal Credit has risen from 12,523 on July 9 to 12,747, on August 13, according to local authority data. It is expected to rise further once the CJRS scheme ends.

Andrew Lowson, of the York BID, said: “We are realistic that as we head towards the end of furlough York, like many cities, will face challenges as businesses will have to make tough decisions on their overheads, which will include staff.

"At the same time, York’s leisure sector has benefitted from the staycation market and I’ve been heartened to hear of positive trading over summer.

“Let us hope this minimises the job losses in our city, because when I speak to business owners, they are desperate to hold onto their staff and invest in them where possible.”

Jenny Shaw, of the DWP, said: “The true scale will emerge post-October. While the furlough scheme is still in operation it is hard to see the true picture.”

She said there was a lot of support available in York for those looking for work, with a big focus on helping young people through various sessions and the newly-launched Kickstart scheme.

In Selby, the number of Universal Credit claimants stands at 5,386, up from 5,287 in July, while in Ryedale that figure is 3,621, up from 3,584, and in Harrogate it is 10,197, up from 10,061.

This compares with 68,186 people in Leeds, up from 66,638 in July. Across Yorkshire and the Humber, the figure is 486,674, up from 478,427, while in East Riding of Yorkshire is stands at 20,926, compared with 20,569.

Nationally, around 695,000 workers have been removed from the payrolls of British companies since March when the lockdown began.

The Office for National Statistics said the rate of unemployment increased as another 36,000 jobs fell off payrolls across the country.

Meanwhile, unemployment increased by 62,000 to 1.4 million for the three months to July.

It said the rate of unemployment therefore increased to 4.1%, in line with analyst expectations.

In response to the emerging challenges, City of York Council will be considering plans for a new City Skills and Employment Board to help residents and businesses in York to manage the economic impact of Coronavirus on September 22.