REDDITCH’S unemployment claims have increased in May during the coronavirus lockdown, official figures reveal.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) said that the unemployment claims under Universal Credit rose by 1,731 in May, compared with the previous month.

In April, 6,114 people applied for benefits, however a month later there were 7,845 Universal Credit claimants – these figures show a 28.3 per cent increase in Redditch.

This is higher than average, as nationally the percentage of unemployment claims was 25.3 per cent.

In West Midlands, the figures were slightly lower, at 22.2 per cent. The figures show the number of Universal Credit claimants as at April 9 and May 14 and the percentage increase.

A spokesman from Department for Works and Pensions said these are the number of claimants and not the number of unemployed as they include furloughed and self-employed.