Jarrow MP Stephen Hepburn hits out over jobless figures

Jarrow MP Stephen Hepburn.

Jarrow MP Stephen Hepburn.

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A South Tyneside MP has launched an attack on the Government following the release of the local unemployment figures.

Stephen Hepburn, MP for the Jarrow, has questioned the Government’s priorities after the total number of unemployed claimants in his constituency was 1,927.

That is 133 higher than in March last year.

The number of people looking for work in South Tyneside fell last month, with 4,380 people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance – down from 4,425 in March.

The count is higher than a year ago when there were 4,065 people claiming the benefit in the borough.

The figures also show that, between December and February, unemployment increased in the North East by 1,000 to 104,000.

Mr Hepburn said: “These figures are extremely worrying and show where this government’s priorities lie – and it’s certainly not the people of the North East.

“Far too many people across South Tyneside, Gateshead and the North East are out of work, unable to find work or are left with no choice but to work for a pittance or a zero-hours contract.”