THE dole queue in South Tyneside has fallen by 230, latest figures reveal today.
A total of 6,062 people in the borough claimed Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) in September, compared with 6,292 in August.
Despite the overall jobless rate in South Tyneside remaining relatively high, at 6.4 per cent of the working-age population (compared with 4.7 per cent across the North East), the borough’s jobless total has fallen every month this year.
Broken down by gender, 3,872 men and 2,190 women claimed JSA in September.
The claimant count among the young has also fallen, with the latest total standing at 1,800 among those aged 18 to 24, compared with 1,865 the previous month.
Coun Michael Clare, lead member for regeneration and economy with South Tyneside Council, said: “The continued drop in jobless figures for South Tyneside is a very encouraging sign for the borough.
“It shows confidence is high across the local business community, which has a positive domino effect throughout the industry sector.
“This can be seen through job creation, increased business orders and high street consumer belief.
“The new figures are doubly reassuring, as the JSA fall is across all age ranges, including a reduction in long-term youth unemployment.
“The signs are promising, especially with the busy Christmas season ahead that usually provides a variety of job opportunities for many people to pursue.” But concerns remain about youth unemployment, with 958,000 UK under-25s still on the dole.
Lottie Dexter, director of the Million Jobs Campaign, said: “Youth unemployment is toxic for nearly one million individuals, their families and communities.
“Yet, frustratingly, the number of young jobseekers continues to hover around one million, as it has for over four years now.”
North East Chamber of Commerce director of policy Ross Smith said: “This is another mixed set of figures for the North East, but with some positives.
“Unemployment is down on the quarter, but slightly up on the year.
“The slowing of the employment rate is somewhat concerning after positives in last month’s figures, but we have seen fluctuations throughout 2013.
“One positive trend that has continued throughout the year has been the falling claimant count, which is once again down and now stands at its lowest levels for two years, which is great news.”
Nationally, the number of jobless people in the UK fell by 18,000 to 2.49 million between June and August.
The number of people claiming JSA last month fell by 41,700 to 1.35 million, while the national unemployment rate decreased from 7.8 per cent to 7.7 per cent.