UNEMPLOYMENT claims have gone up by more than 50 per cent, official figures have revealed.

In Malvern Hills, the number of claimants as of March 12 stood at 2,189, while the figure rose to 3,356 in April 9 - an increase of 53 per cent.

This is higher than the West Midlands average of 35 per cent.

Minister for Employment, Mims Davies MP, said: “Clearly these figures are behind on our current struggle but the impact of this global health emergency is now starting to show – and we’re doing everything we can to protect jobs and livelihoods.

“What these statistics do highlight is that heading into the pandemic, we had built strong foundations in our economy, as we move forward as the lockdown eases.”

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