Unemployment in South Tyneside at a five-year low

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UNEMPLOYMENT figures in South Tyneside has shown another fall, latest figures show.

The total number of people who claimed Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) in May was 5,035, compared with 5,205 in April.

This means 170 fewer people claimed JSA than the previous month, the figures again representing the lowest claimant count in more than five years.

Figures also show that the percentage of the local working age population who claimed fell from 5.5 per cent in April to 5.3 per cent last month.

Although youth unemployment remains high in South Tyneside, the total number of people out of work in the 18 to 24 age group also showed a slight fall, from 1,350 to 1,255.

South Tyneside’s youth jobless percentage figure also fell, from 10.4 per cent to 9.7 per cent.

Officials of the North East Chamber of Commerce (NECC) have welcomed a rise in employment in the North East of 24,000 over the last quarter and 54,000 over the last year.

Mark Stephenson, NECC policy and research manager, said: “It’s great to see North East employment estimates rising at the fastest rate in the UK for the second consecutive month.”

Nationally, the number of people out of work fell by 161,000 to 2.16 million, bringing the unemployment rate down to 6.6 per cent.

Although the rate of wage increases slowed sharply, the number of people in work rose by a record 345,000 to 30.5m, most in full-time employment.

Coun John Anglin, lead member for regeneration and economy at South Tyneside Council, said: “It is encouraging news that the number of jobless people in the borough has fallen for the fifth month in a row.

“South Tyneside’s employment rate is now out-performing the North East as a whole which shows that the borough is continuing to show renewed confidence with employment levels now back to what they were prior to the recession.

“This continual fall in the level of unemployment shows that our commitment to bring in jobs and investment is paying off.”