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South Tyneside jobless figure falls again

SEEKING WORK ... South Tynesides jobless figures have fallen again.

SEEKING WORK ... South Tynesides jobless figures have fallen again.

THE jobless total has fallen again in South Tyneside, reversing last month’s upward trend.

A total of 5,661 people in the borough claimed Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) in February, compared with 5,826 the previous month.

This means 165 fewer people on the dole locally, reducing the percentage of the local working age population claiming JSA from 6.1 per cent to 6.0 per cent.

However, youth unemployment across the borough remains stubbornly high, with 1,500 people aged between 18 and 24 claiming JSA.

And the youth unemployment figure in South Tyneside is 11.6 per cent, compared with eight per cent for the North East as a whole.

Last month’s rise in the local claimant count was blamed on the end of seasonal employment over the festive period.

Coun Michael Clare, South Tyneside Council’s lead member for regeneration and economy, said: “This is welcome news to see the jobless figures reduce for last month, getting everything back on track after the recent seasonal rise, due to the end of hundreds of temporary festive contracts.

“The council is continuing to work closely with its partners to generate practical and informative opportunities for both apprentices and jobseekers in the borough.”

Across the North East, unemployment stands at 125,000, a fall of 8,000 over the last quarter, while the regional claimant count is 70,300, a reduction of 1,700 between January and February.

Mark Stephenson, manager of policy and research for the North East Chamber of Commerce (NECC), said: “The North East has improved on all measures within the labour market between November 2013 and January 2014, which is to be welcomed.  

“This continues an upward trend, in particular for employment and claimant count figures, which have been heading steadily in the right direction for several quarters.”

But he added: “However, the North East unemployment rate is still the highest in the country, which has to be a focus for policy makers moving forward.”

Nationally, unemployment in the UK fell by 63,000 to 2.33 million in the three months to January 2014.

Twitter @terrykelly16

 

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