Last week’s stark figures revealing a sharp increase in people claiming unemployment benefits are extremely worrying and make plain to see the severity of the crisis facing individuals, households and families in St Helens North and across the North West.\nIn April, the number of people who claimed unemployment benefits in St Helens North increased by a staggering 72.6% on the previous month, giving a total figure of 3,840 ‰лв including 775 claimants aged 18-24, up 65%.\nTowns and boroughs like St Helens faced significant challenges before the onset of Covid-19, which is why we’ll need significantly higher levels of intervention to plan our economic recovery, including an immediate focus on keeping people in employment, getting cash to businesses and ensuring the social security system responds to these unprecedented circumstances to stop families falling into poverty.\nIt’s clear we need a national recovery plan ‰лв with government, business and trade unions acting together ‰лв to get those who’ve lost their jobs back into work, education or training, otherwise we risk long-term unemployment for a whole generation.

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