11 people chase every job vacancy

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ELEVEN people are chasing every job vacancy in South Tyneside, new figures reveal today.

The shocking statistics, from think-tank, the Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR) North, follow Government figures which showed a sharp rise in those claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance.

The IPPR’s figures show the borough’s job chase rate is almost double the national average of six, and puts South Tyneside in the fourth worst position in the North East, behind Middlesbrough with 17, and Hartlepool and Redcar and Cleveland, both with 16.

IPPR North wants the Government to extend the ‘youth contract’ to guarantee everyone out of work for more than a year a job.

Hazel McCallion, chief executive of South Tyneside TEN, the borough’s leading independent agency providing job search and employment skills, said times were “very challenging”.

She added: “There are fewer vacancies available, and more people entering the job market. Employers are still reluctant to recruit staff.

“On a positive note, there are job vacancies available and with our support, clients are being successful in gaining employment.”

The figures pale nationally next to Clackmannanshire, near Edinburgh, with 35 jobseekers to every vacancy.

Coun Michael Clare, South Tyneside Council’s lead member of jobs, said: “It is essential that Government consider the implications and consequences of their continued relentless austerity approach to the balance sheet on jobs.

“They need to support Local Government and give them the tools to react to each local situation. Local Government can and will make the difference if they are given the freedom, political support and capacity.”

Areas with two or fewer job seekers for each vacancy are Dorset, Aberdeen City, Surrey, Trafford, Windsor and Maidenhead, Westminster, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and City of London.