MORE than 1,000 extra young people are claiming Universal Credit than before the coronavirus pandemic in Tendring, new figures reveal.

Department for Work and Pensions statistics show 2,569 people aged 16 to 24 in Tendring were on Universal Credit as of August 13.

This was 1,058 more than the 1,511 who were claiming the benefit in early March, before the country went into lockdown, bringing large parts of the economy to a halt.

The figures include people in work and on a low income or those not working because of health or caring commitments, alongside those who are unemployed and searching for a job.

Tendring’s young people joined the ranks of 76,198 others in the age group across the East of England who were seeking support in August, up from 37,886 in March.

Separate Office for National Statistics figures show rising unemployment has hit young people the hardest, with the number of 16 to 24-year-olds in employment across the UK dropping by more than 150,000 in the three months to July.

Ashley Seager, co-founder of the Intergenerational Foundation, said: “These statistics demonstrate the intergenerational unfairness in the Government's approach to Covid.

“Our youngest workers are now starting to suffer a massive blow to their incomes and job prospects.”

He said the Government urgently needs to boost funding for the £2 billion Kickstart scheme, which subsidises work placements for young people facing long-term unemployment, while encouraging older people to shield and re-opening the economy as quickly as possible.

Mr Seager added: “After all, it is the younger generation who will have to pay the bill for protecting older generations for decades to come."

Around 695,000 UK workers have been removed from the payrolls of British companies since March.

Minister for employment Mims Davies said: “We recognise that the pandemic has been difficult for many people who are worried about their incomes and that’s why our £30 billion plan for jobs is aimed at protecting, supporting and creating jobs and it’s welcome news that there is some recovery in vacancies.”