During the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic, the West Midlands was the worst hit area of the UK economically according to the Office for National Statistics. During the second quarter of 2020, the region recorded a 21% drop in output compared to an 18.8% fall in GDP country-wide. This was on top of the biggest regional fall of 4.7% in the first three months of the year. Add to this the joint highest take up rate of the Job Retention Scheme (furlough) in England, and an 89% increase in young benefit claimants, and you start to paint a picture of a fractured economy.
At the Money and Pensions Service we can provide communities and businesses with the tools and information they need to support financial wellbeing at this difficult time. Our Coronavirus Hub pulls together tools, articles and resources on a range of financial issues, including our Money Navigator Tool, built specifically to support people with money worries during the pandemic.