COUNCIL bosses today welcomed a fall in South Tyneside’s jobless total.
Latest figures reveal that 108 fewer people claimed Jobseekers’ Allowance (JSA) in February than the previous month.
And while there was no fall in the borough’s jobless total among the young, South Tyneside Council said there has been an increase in job opportunities.
The borough’s jobless rate has also fallen slightly, from 7.9 per cent to 7.8 per cent of the working-age population. But this remains above the North East average of 5.7 per cent.
New statistics reveal that 7,470 people in the borough claimed JSA in February, compared with 7,578 in January.
Broken down, a total of 5,009 men and 2,461 women claimed benefit, while the number of claimants aged 18 to 24 remained static, at 2,235.
Coun Michael Clare, lead member for regeneration and economy with South Tyneside Council, said: “The fall in JSA claimants is encouraging, as it shows that people are being successful in their job search, and that more vacancies are becoming available in the borough.
“Even though there hasn’t been a reduction in the numbers for young people aged 18-24, there is an increase in opportunities for those looking to enter the workplace.
“To date, the council and its partners have created more than 100 new apprenticeships, with more South Tyneside businesses recognising the vision and creating further employment avenues.
“Stimulating growth at any level is a positive means in gaining momentum to help drive economic growth.”
Coun Clare added: “This all comes at a time when feeling is high in South Tyneside, with the news that Barbour have created 60 new jobs, the relocation of British Engines to the borough and the recent expansion of Utilitywise.”
Across the UK, the number of people claiming JSA fell by 1,500 to 1.54 million, but the national jobless total rose by 7,000 to 2.52 million between November and January.