Unemployment is on the rise in the UK due to the financial hardship of Covid-19 – but Cumbria has seen a fall in figures this month.

According to the Office for National Statistics, unemployment rose nationally to 4.8 per cent in the three months to September. The rise from 4.5 per cent has been attributed to redundancies in anticipation of an end to the Job Retention Scheme.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak extended the furlough support until March 2021 last week.

Current figures suggest that 1.62 million people are unemployed. Young people are among the hardest hit with 174,000 less 16 to 24 year-olds in employment between July and September.

Cumbria saw 12,725 people out of work in October, a reduction of 570 on the previous month. Pete Moran, of Cumbria Law Centre, said that although the situation in the county is more positive, time will tell.

He said: “Some redundancies have been softened by the continuation of the furlough scheme, the courts have starting moving again on housing cases, this is the big acid test for us. The backlog is very big and the new cases coming through are considerable.

“Most people that we represent at court with cases of housing are in employment but they have relatively high living costs such as transport to work and don’t have that protection of housing benefits or Universal Credit.

“We do really detailed analysis of what people bring in and spend, it’s very clear to us that a lot of our clients literally have no spare income. To be on 80 per cent of that is a real challenge. We think the situation is still deteriorating for workers but it has been softened to some degree with the furlough scheme.”