Pandemic takes toll on Bay jobs

Torquay Town Hall building

Torbay Council's Town Hall HQ - Credit: Submitted

The number of people claiming out-of-work benefits in Torbay doubled during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Figures from Torbay Council show the number shot up between March and April 2020 when the first national lockdown was brought in.
The figure went from 2,675 – 3.5per cent of the workforce – to 5,486 – 7.1 per cent – and stayed at around that level through the year.
The figures do not take into account workers who were put on furlough during the pandemic.
That was around one third of Torbay’s workforce, compared to one in four nationally.
Councillors heard that officers are working with businesses on support as the economy reopens this summer.
That includes how to spend £220,000 to safely reopen high streets from the Government’s Welcome Back Fund.
Figures in the council’s Corporate Performance Report for the last three months of 2020 showed earnings by household in Torbay fell from the previous year.
The average gross weekly figure for 2020 was £468.90, down from £505.10 in 2019 and well below the England average of £587.10.
Councillors at a meeting of the audit committee heard around 150 people are being housed in temporary accommodation.
They heard there are concerns about the ongoing availability of places for people facing homelessness due to a shortage of rented homes.