THE latest unemployment figures in Ludlow show another big jump although the increase is less than it was in the early stages of the lockdown.

However, it is feared that there could be another jump when the furlough scheme comes to an end in October.

There is also concern about the potential impact upon any further tightening of restrictions.

The biggest increase in the claimant count in the most recent figures was in Ludlow North that includes the town centre.

More people are out of work and are signing on for benefits. In Ludlow, the number of claimants – people looking for work – grew by eight per cent between July and August. This is nowhere near as big a jump as at the beginning of lockdown but it is an upward trend at a time when jobs are being destroyed, not created.

Over the last year, Ludlow claimants have increased from 155 to 465 people – a 268 per cent increase. This is higher than the Shropshire and national trends, especially in the Ludlow North ward where the annual growth was 344per cent.

“I don’t intend to depress or scare people with the numbers but we do need to understand what is happening in our community during and after the exceptional events of 2020,” said Mr Boddington.

There are also fears that the number of people looking for work will rise when the furlough scheme ends at the end of October.

The figures show that people of all ages have been affected by the loss of jobs following the Covid-19 outbreak but that younger people had suffered the most.

It is not known why Ludlow North has been the worst affected ward but the town centre has been badly impacted by the closure of shops, pubs and restaurants.

Many people have been furloughed under the job retention scheme that will end soon.

Retail and hospitality businesses are coming up to the vital pre-Christmas period.