The number of people claiming Universal Credit in Dundee has soared by more than 70% during the coronavirus pandemic.
Between March and October this year, the number of households claiming the benefit rose from 9,600 to 16,385.
As of August, this included 893 from the Whitfield area, 850 from Stobswell, and 821 from Lochee – the three areas with the highest number of claims in the city.
On top of this, the number of families who were claiming Universal Credit and child entitlement rose by 27% between March and August from 3,616 to 4,962.
As of August, there were 7,545 people who were unemployed on either Jobseeker’s Allowance or Universal Credit looking for work in Dundee, including 1,661 young people between the ages of 18 and 24.
John Alexander, leader of Dundee City Council, said: “Covid-19 continues to have a major impact on lives and particularly household incomes across the country.
“We’ve seen increases in redundancies in recent months, not helped by the delays in extending the furlough scheme.
“Coupled with the increase in those needing to claim Universal Credit, it shows the huge pressure that people are under financially.
“That is deeply concerning.
“The extension of the furlough scheme offers a glimmer of hope to many and we need to continue to push for greater support.”
However, Jane McEwen, employer and partnerships manager at Dundee Jobcentre, said there were some “positive signs” because 22 people came off Universal Credit in the city between September and October.
She said: “It all sounds negative and we are aware people are being furloughed and people are losing their jobs.
“But there are opportunities out there and we are working with local employers to make sure people get opportunities.
“Since September the figures for Dundee were 16,407 and that dropped to 16,385 so we are starting to see people moving off Universal Credit.
“It is not big numbers but it is still a positive sign.
“There are areas of work still available to jobseekers – care is one area where the number of vacancies has gone up a notch.
“And we still have vacancies in supermarkets and other areas of retail.
“We are hoping to help people by giving them the training they need for the labour market as it is at the moment.
“People have a lot of skills and a lot of them are transferable, we just need to make sure we give them the appropriate training to make them more attractive to those looking for staff.”
As of October, there were also 35,634 Universal Credit claimants in Fife, 10,250 in Perth and Kinross, and 9,424 in Angus.
The area in Dundee with the lowest number of households claiming Universal Credit was West Ferry with just 71 claims made in August.